China’s appetite for extended sedans continues unabated, with the latest model being the G20 BMW 3 Series long wheelbase. Exclusive to the Middle Kingdom, the car will be built in Tiexi, Shenyang in collaboration with its local partner Brilliance, alongside to the standard variant that will continue to be sold there.

Munich says that the LWB version accounts for nearly 80% of 3 Series sales in China, so clearly this is a very important new model for the propeller brand. The extra 11 cm stretches the wheelbase to nearly three metres at 2,961 mm, and the total length has grown to 4,829 mm (+120 mm) – the car is now the largest in its segment all around, says BMW. This frees up an additional 43 mm of rear legroom for mid-tier executives to stretch out.

Otherwise, it’s the same as any other G20 3 Series, sporting the same evolutionary design, with the only difference being the trapezoidal exhaust tips rather than the round pipes seen in other markets. Ditto the interior, which features the new range-topping Live Cockpit Professional infotainment system and the Intelligent Personal Assistant voice control making its Chinese-market debut here.

The LWB 3er also gets the full complement of driver assistance systems, including Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Change Warning, Rear Collision Prevention and Cross Traffic Alert and the Driving Assistant Professional semi-autonomous driving function with Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go and steering and lane control assistant.

Just one variant is available, and it’s one that we’ve not seen before – the 325Li. It’s powered by the same 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine as the 330i, but here it’s detuned to 184 hp and 300 Nm, sent to the rear wheels via the usual ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.