Last year, BMW India dethroned Mercedes Benz from its 15 year long top position as a luxury car maker and early this year Audi emerged as a big player and defeated Mercedes again to occupy second position. Now Audi is giving neck to neck competition to BMW in terms of sales and is aiming at climbing up the ladder by 2014. Realizing the possible threats by this growth of Audi, BMW India has tightened the seat belts and has decided to introduce a long wheelbase version of BMW 3 series which is by far the most popular sedan in the entry-level luxury segment.
During the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, the German giant exhibited the LWB (Longer Wheel Base) version of BMW 3 series. The version demonstrated in China was customized to cater the needs of the Chinese customers who despite their short stature and height received some extra leg space for the passenger occupying the rear seat. The wheelbase of BMW LWB 3 series has seen an elongation of 110 mm from the original 3 series being sold in China. The wheelbase in LWB version measures 2920 mm and the overall length of the car has also been increased to 4734 mm.
No other change is expected to be incorporated in the LWB version so the engine options supplying power to the 3 series will be retained which are 2.0 litre turbocharged gasoline engine that generates 181 BHP of power in the 320 Li and 242 BHP of power in the 328Li and a 3.0 litre turbocharged gasoline engine that is capable of pumping out 303 BHP of power in the 335 Li. Looking at the high demand of diesel vehicles in the car market of India, BMW might offer the LWB version with some engine option in diesel or it might include the same diesel engines that are powering the current BMW 3 series.