China’s love affair with long-wheelbase sedans continues and BMW is obliging consumers with the new 3-Series Li.
Set to debut at the Shanghai Auto Show later this month, the 3-Series Li has been developed exclusively for Chinese customers and will be built in the country by BMW Brilliance Automotive.
BMW was tight-lipped on specifications, but confirmed the “extra wheelbase length goes towards creating class-leading space for the rear passengers.” They’ll be greeted by model-specific features including front and rear comfort seats as well as a standard panoramic glass roof. Buyers will also find an ambient lighting system and the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.
While BMW was coy on numbers, the previous 3-Series Li had a wheelbase that was stretched by 4.3 inches (110 mm). If this continues to be the case, the 2020 3-Series Li will have a wheelbase of 116.5 inches (2959.1 mm).
Regardless of the size, BMW confirmed the model will be powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. There’s no word on specifics, but the US-spec 330i has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 255 hp (190 kW / 258 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque.
The 3-Series Li will be shown alongside the standard model, but BMW noted the long-wheelbase variant accounts for nearly 80 percent of 3-Series sales in China. In fact, the country is responsible for about a third of all 3-Series sales.
Besides the 3-Series, BMW will use the Shanghai Auto Show to stage the global debut of the X3 M and X4 M. Unveiled back in February, the models have a twin-turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 473 hp (352 kW / 479 PS) and 442 lb-ft (598 Nm) of torque. It enables the crossovers to accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 4.1 seconds, before hitting a limited top speed of up to 174 mph (280 km/h).
Customers can also order Competition variants which feature an upgraded engine developing 503 hp (375 kW / 510 PS). The extra power cuts the 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) time to four seconds flat, while the top speed increases to 177 mph (284 km/h) with the optional M Driver’s Package.