Word is that BMW and its Chinese partner Brilliance Auto are working on a long wheelbase version of the BMW 3-Series to take on the Audi A4L, which is as you pretty much guessed is a long wheelbase version of the A4. This would certainly help boost the 3-er’s sales in China.
The interior space of the current 3-er is already in a losing battle compared to the interior of a regular length Audi A4, what more a long wheelbase A4. The intention to build a longer 3-er was revealed in an interview by Auto Sohu with Brilliance Auto chairman Qi Yu Min.
The Audi A4 was stretched 61mm in terms of wheelbase to 2,869mm, and overall length increased about the same length to 4,763mm. To match that, BMW’s E90 would have to be stretched a good 100mm from its current 2,761mm wheelbase, resulting in a 2,861mm wheelbase.
No worries about model overlapping as this is still far off from the wheelbase and overall length of the F10 5-Series, which has grown to humongous proportions and is even bigger in its recently unveiled long wheelbase Chinese market form The F10 is 2,968mm wheelbase and 4,899mm length in standard length and has a 3,108mm wheelbase and 5,039mm length when stretched.
The photos above are an artist’s impression of a long wheelbase version of the 3-Series digitally altered by Theophilus Chin. The extra length has gone into the B-pillars.