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A long-wheelbase version of the BMW 3-Series developed exclusively for the Chinese market will make its debut at this month’s Beijing motor show.

The BMW 3-Series Li was designed in Germany and will be built at the German brand’s new Shenyang production plant in China.

The 3-Series Li (as per the 7-Series Li) is built on an extended 3-Series platform that is stretched by 11cm over the standard sedan. BMW says the result gives the 3-Series Li the best rear-seat comfort in its class, a big drawcard in the Chinese market.

BMW 3-Series Li customers have the choice of the 135kW/270Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder BMW 320Li, the 180kW/450Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder 328Li, and the range-topping 225kW/400Nm 3.0-litre six-cylinder 335Li.

All employ BMW’s TwinPower twin-scroll turbocharger technology, keeping fuel consumption between 6.0-7.2 litres per 100km.

Joining the new BMW 3-Series Li in Beijing will be the new regular-wheelbase BMW 3-Series sedan and the full hybrid BMW ActiveHybrid 3.

  • Type40

    I have no idea why the Chinese are preoccupied with rear legroom. They aren’t exactly they largest of people.

    • Abc

      Because they love carpooling : P

      • Jinnzhang

         Correct answer. Cars are very often filled with 5 or more than 5 people so they need more room.

    • Zaki M

      its because they do more than just sitting down :)

    • Jhns

      If you have a chauffeur, you want leg room at the back.

    • Nasal Explorer

      So you can do Tai Chi on the way to the office.

    • Kampfer

      Chinese business men like to sit at the back of the car that able to cross their legs without touching the front seat. This is pretty much the number 2 priority of executive cars. Number 1 would be the brands.

  • Vins

    They just love everything long and big

    • Daniel

      That’s what he said.

  • Golfschwein

    I like it. Sort of Skoda Superbish.

    • etc

      Drop the Skoda and you’ve got it right.

  • Frederick_feng

    What a silly thing to do. Just get a 5 series.

    • carbine

       Yup, because a 5 series is obviously in the same price-range as a 3-series. Plus, you’d need a 7 series to approach that kind of legroom. A 5 series doesn’t come close.

      • frederick

        Don’t be fooled by the wide angle / front seat fully pulled forward photo. Do you even know how long 11cm is? Find the shortest ruler you can find. Have a look and tell me it’s going to be 7 series legroom.

        • carbine

          The difference between a standard 7 series and a LWB 7series, and a standard Jaguar XJ and a LWB Jaguar XJ is about 4 inches, which equal… surprise, surprise, 10.2 cm… truly insignificant.

  • zej

    Cheap labour means that if you can afford a new car, you can most likely afford a driver – so why not sit comfortably and read/snooze/play angry birds while the paid help battles peak hour traffic during the working day? Makes sense to me.

    • Legnab

      YEP  you hit the nail on the head , thats the reason , nothing like legroom when the punka walla is driving you home .

  • 440 R/T Charger

    I bet C-class will also follow that strategy in China as well….

  • Mr McKenzie

    Be interesting to compare the prices of the Chinese built BMWs versus those built in Europe .
    And if you could order one via the internet…European like Australian manufacturing have reason to be very concerned

  • Gus

    That’s quite amazing.. the Chinese market is big and important enough for the Germans to sign off on a customised 3 series…

    • Guest

      We should all be very afraid. VW kept the Phaeton alive just for the China market. Car manufacturers are market driven, and soon we will be driving cars the Chinese want.

      • Charles

        Be happy Chinese hate Chinese cars..

        Just as Chinese people don’t trust other Chinese people..

        That’s why you see all Chinese driving Japanese, European cats etc..

        And bogans drive Chinese cars..

        • Charles


          • Karl Sass

            “European cats” lmao 
            Don’t think I’ve ever see that before….. ; )

    • Justin

       All major euro car brands have customised LWB models for china. The 3 series is just the latest. Been the norm for a while now

  • scatman

    The front headlights look much slantier than the normal version

    • Guest

      Hahaha… You racist

    • Igomi Watabi

      I’m sorry, i didn’t realise that this was a blog for 9 year old private school boys from 1963.

  • Springvale Boi

    They will probably sell tons of these BMW 3-Series Li in China coz of the similarity to the Chinese prime minister Li Peng, Li Kwan Yew and Bruce Li.

  • Dave S

    Once again, the best way to make a small car better is make it bigger.

  • Thor

    No doubt the extented version would be my preferred choice given the option. Make it available in Europe and fit it with the diesels also and it would be the perfect BMW for me.