Car buyers in China like their cars long: If you can afford a car then a driver is cheap, so people like to be driven. This leads to stretched wheelbase compacts, stretched wheelbase full size cars and, of course, stretched SUVs. One in every four BMW X1s is sold in China right now, and the all-new long-wheelbase X1 is intended to boost that number even more.
Revealed today at the Beijing Auto Show, and to be built in BMW's joint-venture BMW Brilliance plant, the stretched X1 is now 11 cm longer than the model we get in the rest of the world and all of that goes to rear seat passenger leg room. The rear seat also slides 13 cm fore and aft to help further increase that room, at the expense of some cargo room. Available engines are a 1.5L three-cylinder and a pair of turbocharged 2.0L fours. Front wheel drive is available (sDrive in BMW speak) as well as all wheel drive. In modern BMW fashion, the names are a bit of a mouthful, with the base being the BMW X1 sDrive18Li, and the top model the BMW X1 xDrive25Li.