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Because China Matters: BMW Announces Long-Wheelbase 3-Series

There are just too many tall people in China.

Should we even be surprised by this one? Not in the least. BMW has just announced that they will be building a stretched version of their newly launched 3-Series specifically for China. Set to make its debut at the Beijing Auto Show later this month, the long-wheelbase (LWB) model has been stretched by 4.3 inches, with most of that extra space happening in the rear seat. For those who don't know, big sedans are very popular in China as they represent prestige and exclusivity.

Wealthy Chinese also prefer to be chauffeured, instead of driving around town themselves, hence the extra rear passenger space. The LWB model will be available for the 320Li, 328Li, and 335Li trim levels. Both the 328Li and 335Li will be powered by the same 2.0-liter, 240hp turbocharged-four and 300hp 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six as their 328i and 335i counterparts. The 320Li will have a 181hp turbo four. BMW hasn't released any other details just yet, but we can see in these photos some additional chrome trim along the C-pillar and more luxurious rear seating.

The 3-Series LWB will be joining the already on sale 5-Series LWB. Now China will have two BMW sedans available for image concerned businessmen who don't enjoy driving.

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