BMW will replace the 3 Series GT with a long-wheelbase (LWB) version of the 3 Series sedan in India, according to Autocar India.
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.
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.