No, this isn’t the world’s fastest mid-cycle refresh of the new BMW 5-Series. It’s actually a special stretch edition of the Bavarian maker’s 3-Series, which will be making its debut at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show.
Despite the rapid emergence of a middle class whose buyers are much like those in any other major automotive market, there’s still a sizable market for chauffeur-driven vehicles. And that means a larger, roomier and more lavishly equipped back seats – like the one BMW will offer with the stretch 3-Series line.
The special 3-Series Li models will feature an 11 centimeter longer wheelbase – about 4 inches for metrically challenged Americans – almost all of that going to rear-seat occupants.
They’ll also get rear seat controls for climate control and other vehicle systems not always offered on conventional 3-Series models.