The new 3-series variant - available for the Chinese market only – has its wheelbase extended by 110mm compared with the standard car to substantially increase rear legroom.
The long-wheelbase model is available in BMW 335Li, the BMW 328Li, or the BMW 320Li guises and will be built in China’s new Shenyang production plant.
According to the firm, the new variant "fulfills precisely the expectations of Chinese automobile customers".
BMW has sold 80,000 cars in China in 1st three months; 37 per cent up on last year. It has also recorded 425,000 global sales in the first quarter, which is a best-ever performance from the brand.
Ian Roberston insists sales are still balanced despite Chinese growth: "China's sales performance is part of BMW's balanced, worldwide success. The first three months of 2012 have been our best start to any year globally - not just in China. We intend to continue that growth and claim the title of number oe premium car company in the world once again."
BMW has also confirmed it will open a design studio in Shanghai next month to tap into burgeoning Chinese market. The studio will include 'Connected Lab Drive' which will house a team of experts investigating Connected Drive functions, including infotainment and safety equipment. The bulk of these developments will be for Chinese markets, but this could prompt BMW to open a Chinese technology centre.
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