By on July 28, 2011

As we’ve already seen, BMW is building a record number of variants of its next-generation 3 Series, including “GT” hatchback and X4 “Sport Activity Coupe.” But as this photo shows, there is at least one other Dreier bodystyle that we hadn’t heard about yet: the long wheelbase sedan (top). Given the brand’s post-Bangle swing towards extreme styling consistency, the decision between a LWB 3 series and a 5 series seems to have serious head-scratching potential… but it’s not something we’ll have to worry about. The LWB sports sedan will only be sold in China, according to Auto Motor und Sport, where upmarket buyers favor chauffeurs… even in the Ultimate Driving Machine.

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14 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Two Mules, One Market Edition...”

  • avatar

    This is on a macro scale the same problem that BMW has with the rest of their range around the world. With each generation of 3 series their market research team probably hears, in various forms “I love my 328 but I wish it had more space”

    If BMW were confident in their corporate mission they would point these people at the 528 or 728 depending on how much space they require.

    Since they are not we now have a 3 series that is approaching in most dimensions a 7 series from the company’s golden age (arguably the 80’s).

  • avatar

    In highly status-conscious cultures, it’s frowned upon to be driving a higher or equal-status vehicle compared to one’s boss. So if the boss has a 5-series, a 3-series LWB is the logical choice.

  • avatar

    Why do they have the gas tank on opposite sides of the two cars?

  • avatar

    What is the idea behind the lurid decorations on the car? It does very little to deceive the eye. Driving around like that screams: “Look at this car, it is a top secret prototype! Take a picture of it with your mobile phone and post it on the internet!”

    The irony is that if they did away with the camouflage very few people would notice, since it looks pretty much like any other BMW. Of which there are now no shortage of variants, as is pointed out above.

  • avatar

    I think the “L” chasssis would sell well in the US if used as the base platform for a wagon. The biggest valid compaint against the 3 series wagon is that it has marginally more useful boot space than the much smaller/cheaper Audi A3 or even the Mini.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    BMW, after winning “ugly cars of the decade” contest under the dubious leadership of Bangle, is now lusting after the “invisible cars of the next decade” contest.


  • avatar

    The LWB version seems rather jacked up. Could it be an xDrive version? 320Li xDrive…oh the horror!

  • avatar

    The LWB F30 is perfect for Chinese market where most aren’t big & fat like you know who…

  • avatar

    The 3 series is now smaller that the Honda Civic so it makes sense for BMW to move its size upstream especially now that they have the i-series…that said I love the 3 series at its current size.

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