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BMW has unveiled a stretched version of its X1 SUV at this week’s Beijing motor show – but apart from the longer rear door and surrounds, you’d be hard pressed to spot the difference.

Developed specifically for China, the long wheelbase X1 (badged X1 Li), will be built at a joint-venture factory Tiexi plant in Shenyang by BMW’s Chinese partner, Brilliance.

Catering for China’s growing demand for limo-like rear-seat space, the new X1 Li is 79mm longer than the standard X1, measuring 4560mm in length – making it only 100mm shorter than the larger X3 SUV.

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While adding a longer rear door and improved rear-seat legroom, the stretched wheelbase is the only difference between the X1 Li and the regular X1, meaning that the long wheelbase version retains the same 505-litre boot capacity of the standard wheelbase variant.

The X1 Li will be offered with three engine options: a 100kW 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine in the sDrive18Li, a 141kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine in the sDrive20Li and xDrive20Li along with the more powerful 170kW 2.0-litre turbo petrol in the xDrive25Li.

As the variants’ names suggest, the X1 Li will be offered with front- (sDrive) and all-wheel (xDrive) drive.

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The BMW X1 Li made its debut at the Beijing motor show this week, and will go on sale in China in the coming months.

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