Long-wheelbase version of the BMW 3 Series will replace the 3 Series GT in India, the first right-hand-drive market to receive the stretched mid-size sedan.
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BMW will replace the 3 Series GT with a long-wheelbase (LWB) version of the 3 Series sedan in India, according to Autocar India.

While the longer BMW has been available to Chinese buyers for a number of years, it's the first time a right-hand-drive version of the 3 Series has been produced.

It's fitting that the car is being offered in India for the first time outside of China – India has a strong history with long-wheelbase European sedans. Flagship limousines from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi are only offered in LWB versions.

The LWB 3 Series will replace the 3 Series GT, which BMW announced would be axed from production earlier this year. The 3 Series GT was a best-seller for BMW in India.

At this stage it's understood the BMW will initially be available with a 330Li badge, but a 320Ld is also expected.

The 'L' badge signifies an additional 110mm has been added to the 3 Series, for a total wheelbase of 2961mm. To put that into perspective, that gives the 3 Series a longer wheelbase than a standard BMW E38 7 Series.

Longer doors allow for easier entry into the stretched BMW 3 Series, and a revised rear seat will provide passengers with greater comfort.

Will Australia get the LWB 3 Series?

Considering that there are so few right-hand-drive markets in the world, there's a possibility the LWB 3 Series could end up coming to our shores.

At this stage however, BMW Australia has told CarAdvice that there are "no plans" for the model.

A lengthened 3 Series would makes sense for Australia, particularly after BMW axed production of the 3 Series GT and recently announced that the new 6 Series GT would not be offered locally.

The 6 Series GT had been on sale for less than three years after replacing the 5 Series GT.

If BMW chose to offer an economical 320Ld and more powerful (and at this stage theoretical) 330Ld in Australia, the car would be a smart choice for professional hire-car operators, COMCAR, and police agencies.

Victoria Police and NSW Police Force highway patrol divisions currently have a number of BMW 530d sedans operating throughout the state, and COMCAR – the car-with-driver service for government officials and dignitaries – has a fleet of diesel BMW 6 Series GT models.