For the Chinese market, BMW has unveiled a new version of its popular 5 Series sedan and its all-electric counterpart, the BMW i5. The new models feature a longer wheelbase, more space in the rear, and exclusive design and equipment features that cater to the specific needs and preferences of Chinese customers. The new BMW 5 Series and BMW i5 will be produced at the Dadong plant operated by the BMW-Brilliance joint venture and will go on sale in China soon.
Why China Matters for BMW
China is the largest and most important market for BMW, accounting for more than a quarter of its global sales. In 2022, BMW delivered more than 777,000 vehicles to Chinese customers, a 7.4 percent increase from the previous year. The 5 Series is one of the best-selling models in China, with more than two million units sold since the start of local production in 2003. From 2020 to 2022 alone, some 530,000 5 Series were sold in China.
BMW is also committed to expanding its electrified portfolio in China, as the country is leading the global transition to sustainable mobility. In 2022, BMW sold more than 212,000 electrified vehicles worldwide, of which more than 75,000 were delivered in China. The i5 is the latest addition to BMW’s electric lineup in China, following the BMW iX3 and the BMW iX. The BMW i5 is based on the fifth generation of BMW’s eDrive technology, which combines a powerful electric motor, a high-voltage battery, and an intelligent power electronics unit.
What’s New for the 5 Series and i5
The new 5 Series and i5 are based on the facelifted version of the seventh-generation model that debuted in May 2020. However, for China, the sedan will be offered only as a long-wheelbase model, which means more legroom and comfort for the rear passengers. The exact dimensions of the new models are not disclosed yet, but the previous generation 5 Series Li was about 5.1 inches longer than the standard model, so we can expect a similar difference for the new generation.
The exterior design of the new models is largely unchanged from the global version, except for a few details that are exclusive to China. For instance, both models feature an illuminated “5” on the C-pillar, which pulses in light blue on the i5 when the vehicle is charging. The new models also come with LED headlights and contour lighting of the kidney grille as standard.
The interior of the new models is where things get more interesting. Both models are equipped with a 31.1-inch panoramic display with 8K resolution and 5G connectivity, which is borrowed from the flagship 7 Series. The display can be used for entertainment, navigation, or productivity purposes by the rear passengers. Other features available for both models include a four-zone climate control, a Bower & Wilkins premium audio system, and a range of driver assistance systems.
The powertrain options for the new models are not revealed yet, but we can assume that they will be similar to those offered in other markets. The global version of the 5 Series comes with a variety of petrol, diesel, and hybrid engines, ranging from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder to a 4.4-liter V8. The BMW i5 is powered by a single electric motor that produces 282 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The battery capacity and range of the i5 are not disclosed yet, but we can expect them to be competitive with other electric sedans in its segment.
How Much Will They Cost
The pricing of the new models is not announced yet, but we can expect them to be slightly higher than their predecessors. The current generation of the 5 Series Li starts from around $57,000 in China, while the BMW i5 is likely to cost more than $70,000. The new models will face stiff competition from other premium sedans in China, such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class LWB (long wheelbase), Audi A6 LWB (long wheelbase), and Tesla Model S.
The new BMW 5 Series and i5 are expected to hit the Chinese market soon and will be showcased at various events across the country. BMW hopes that these new models will further strengthen its position as a leading premium brand in China and will attract more customers who are looking for luxury, performance, and sustainability in their vehicles. The new BMW i5 is especially aimed at those who want to experience the ultimate electric driving pleasure that only BMW can offer.