Over in China, it's all about the rear legroom.
It was only several months ago when BMW unveiled the all-new 3 Series and already the sports saloon is stretching out for its China-only Li variant. In standard form, we’ve learned the 2019 3er is bigger than a 5 Series (E39) and not much smaller than a 5 Series (E60), but this long-wheelbase derivative is even larger.
While the 3 Series you’ll be able to buy in Europe and the United States is going to be 4.71 metres long, the China-exclusive 3 Series Li has an overall length of 4.83 metres. That means it’s 12 centimetres longer than the Euro-spec model, according to AutoWeek.nl. Most of the stretch (11 cm) will be going into the wheelbase, which is set to measure a generous 2.96 metres and grant passengers sitting in the back with superior legroom.
Featured here is a 325 Li M Sport saloon with virtually the same design as the global version. Although not necessarily noticeable, the rear doors of the new 3 Series Li are going to be slightly longer thanks to the stretched wheelbase. Its European equivalent is the 320i with 184 bhp and 221 pound-feet of torque from a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which is good enough for a sprint to 62 mph in 7.2 seconds and a top speed of 148 mph.
Local joint venture BMW Brilliance will assemble the 325 Li in China where only the long-wheelbase model will be available as it is the case with the bigger 5 Series Li launched a couple of years ago. The longer 3 Series will go up against other China-only LWB models from premium brands, including the Audi A4 L, Jaguar XE L, and the Mercedes C-Class L.
It will have some big shoes to fill taking into account the previous-generation 3 Series Li raked up 130,000 sales last year in the People’s Republic. The market launch is programmed for later in 2019.
BMW Brilliance Kicks off the All-new BMW 3 Series LWB Project
(Beijing) As pioneer of the premium sports sedan segment, the BMW 3 Series Sedan is on the cusp of ushering in a new generation. Recently, BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. announced the upcoming launch of the new edition BMW 3 Series Sedan long wheelbase in 2019. The new model is tailor-made for Chinese customers as it showcases the unique charm of a classic sports sedan whilst adopting the all-new BMW design language, enhanced sports performance, innovative technology and exclusive luxury experience.
The first BMW 3 Series Sedan made its debut in 1975. For more than 40 years, it has been the icon of "driving pleasure" in the premium midsize segment, with all previous generations praised as classics. Adopting the sports car concept, the BMW 3 Series Sedan is one of BMW's most successful models. Over the course of its six model generations to date, the BMW 3 Series has been ranked one of the world’s best-selling premium cars, with the total sales of the first six generations exceeding 15.5 million.
The new generation BMW 3 Series Sedan long wheelbase has been developed synchronously alongside the standard wheelbase version. The preferences of Chinese customers are incorporated into the development goals and processes, in order to meet their aesthetic, sports, innovation and luxury demands.
The new generation BMW 3 Series Sedan adopts the brand’s new design language, rearranging the exterior and interior surfaces. A combination of precisely drawn lines and strikingly contoured surfaces provides a clear showcase for its dynamic and robust character. The new interior design remains driver-oriented, the concise lines and clustered controls into clearly structured function panels allow for a clearer arrangement of surfaces. Top-class materials, precise build quality and numerous meticulously crafted details set the tone for the refined modern interpretation of the premium sporting aesthetic.
As a quintessential BMW sports car, the All-new BMW 3 Series Sedan has acquired greater weight optimisation, enhanced power performance, a lower centre of gravity, 50:50 axle load distribution and more, taking handling characteristics to the next level. BMW Group continues to remain at the forefront in innovative technology, committed to a customer centric strategy to create a futuristic intelligent cockpit, leading future mobility. In order to improve driving comfort for Chinese consumers, the All-new BMW 3 Series Sedan long wheelbase will create an all-round freeing of interior space whilst further adding luxury comfort configurations.
The BMW 3 Series represents the core of BMW brand sports models, each generation showcases sustained vitality. The current and 6th generation BMW 3 Series demonstrates strong product strength and value, delivering significant market appeal. In 2018, it achieved sales of more than 130,000 units. In future, the All-new BMW 3 Series Sedan will be a continuation of this premium sports sedan’s legendary heritage.