By Drew Johnson
Monday, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 2:28 pm
 
The chauffeur-driven business is booming in China, and BMW is looking to take advantage of that with a new long-wheelbase version of its 3-Series sedan.

The BMW 3-Series is already a strong seller in China, but fails to measure up against its luxury rivals in one important regard - rear-seat passenger room.

Although a vehicle the size of the 3-Series isn't typically considered a good candidate for the limousine treatment, Audi has proven that long-wheelbase versions of standard cars can sell like hotcakes in China. In fact, Audi's stretched A6L is the best-selling luxury vehicle in China, followed closely by the elongated A4L.

BMW's long-wheelbase 3-Series will be sold as the 335Li and could be powered by a four-cylinder engine. The model will slot between the Audi A4L and A6L in terms of rear-seat space, according to China Car Times.

BMW will begin Chinese production of the 335i later this year, and it seems safe to assume the 335Li will also be made in China. The car isn't expected to be sold anywhere else in the world, but those looking for more room in a 3-Series will have the option of the 3-Series GT.