India will get the long-wheelbase 5 Series for the first time.
The eighth-gen BMW 5 Series, and its all-electric counterpart, the i5, will be brought to India during the 2024 festive season, in long-wheelbase form. Aimed at the chauffeur-driven buyer, offering more legroom for rear seat passengers, the eighth-gen 5 Series will directly take on the new-gen Mercedes-Benz E-Class, which is due later this year and has been available in long-wheelbase guise for a couple of generations. The entry of the 5 Series LWB will also mark the first time this luxury sedan has come to India with in extended wheelbase form.
- 5 Series LWB’s wheelbase is about 110mm longer
- Rear seat area sports massive 31-inch 32:9 screen
- 5 Series LWB expected with mild-hybrid petrol and diesel engines
BMW 5 Series, i5 LWB: exterior
The long-wheelbase 5 Series (G68) looks similar to the car it’s based on, the G60 5 Series – the BMW kidney grille is of an acceptable size and the split headlamps have been given a miss. The 5 Series LWB keeps the illuminated grille along with the sleek tail-lamps that have a chrome strip running through them. One major differentiator between the LWB and standard 5 Series is the illuminated ‘5’ on the C-pillar, which will be illuminated in white on the ICE-powered LWB models, while on the i5, it will be blue and pulsate when the car is charging.
Naturally, the biggest difference is the increase in length; the 5 Series LWB for the Chinese market has a 5,175mm length, 1,900mm width, and 1,520mm height, with a wheelbase of 3,105mm. This makes it about 145mm longer overall than the standard 5 Series, and the wheelbase length has increased by about 110mm. Interestingly, the i5 is also the first BMW EV sedan to be available in short- and long-wheelbase form; the i7 only comes with one wheelbase length.
BMW 5 Series, i5 LWB: interior
The new 5 Series and i5 LWB’s interior is familiar to those who have spent time in any of the newer BMWs. The driver gets a 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster and a driver-oriented 14.9-inch central infotainment touchscreen. Whether the fully vegan interior introduced on the international 5 Series will come to India has yet to be confirmed, though it is likely.
However, the best bit of the G68 and the i5 LWB is the rear passenger area. Besides the extra legroom liberated by the extended wheelbase, the chauffer-driven get reclining rear seats, four-zone climate control, upholstery with exclusive quilting, and a dual-tone design. Rear passengers also get a 31.1-inch 32:9 display that folds down from the headliner to act as an entertainment screen. The 8K resolution screen is compatible with 5G connectivity, and, along with the Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system, it allows for an immersive experience on the go.
BMW 5 Series, i5 LWB: powertrain
For the Indian market, the 5 Series is expected in 520Li or 530Li, along with 520Ld guises, with 2.0-litre turbo-petrol and diesel engines, respectively, both of which will get a mild-hybrid system to improve efficiency. An 8-speed automatic will be standard across the range. Meanwhile, the i5 is likely to come in eDrive40 form, which means it’ll have a 340hp, rear axle-mounted motor driven by an 81.2kWh battery pack. BMW claims a maximum range of 582km for this version. International markets also get an M60 xDrive variant, which gets a motor on each axle putting out a combined 601hp and a maximum range of 516km on a single charge, though there’s no word on the performance version of the i5 coming to India.
BMW 5 Series, i5 LWB: price, rivals
As mentioned before, the 5 Series LWB is a direct rival to the Mercedes-Benz E-Classand is expected to be priced in the Rs 70 lakh-80 lakh , ex-showroom, India. This means it’ll likely undercut the new E-Class that is also expected to launch in India around the same time. Meanwhile, the i5 is not expected to have any direct rivals by the time it arrives, and is expected to be priced in the Rs 90 lakh-1 crore, ex-showroom, region.