The G28 BMW 3 Series Gran Sedan was recently launched in Thailand, and as we reported previously, the model is actually assembled here in Malaysia. Given that information, it certainly isn’t far-fetched to think that BMW Malaysia could offer the long-wheelbase version of the G20 3 Series to customers here.
Now, we have some evidence to suggest this to be the case. We recently received some photos from paultan.org reader Andy Yeap, who spotted several units of the 3 Series Gran Sedan – all in 330Li M Sport guise – on a trailer while on the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE).
As a refresher, that is the only variant of the Gran Sedan offered in Thailand currently, and the cars in the photos are wearing the same 18-inch M light-alloy wheels in a double spoke, bicolour design that are standard fitment there.
Is this an unofficial confirmation that we’ll be welcoming the stretched 3 Series soon? Possibly, as the photos seem to suggest that local units are heading to dealerships ahead of a planned launch. On the other hand, these cars could also be en route to distribution centres and are destined for Thailand instead.
However, local assembly of BMW models in Malaysia is done at the Inokom plant in Kulim, Kedah, which is quite a distance away from the NKVE sighting. As such, we’re leaning towards a local debut, although we’ll remain a little cautious for now, pending official word from BMW Malaysia.
So, what should you expect if the 330Li goes on sale here? Well, the G28 is pretty much the same width (1,827 mm) and height (1,442 mm) as the G20, but it is longer at 4,819 mm. The extra 110 mm goes straight to the wheelbase, which spans 2,961 mm, providing up to 43 mm more rear legroom compared to the standard-wheelbase G20.
Powertrain-wise, the 330Li features a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that outputs 258 PS (255 hp) from 5,000 to 6,500 rpm and 400 Nm of torque from 1,550 to 4,400 rpm. The mill is paired with an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission driving the rear wheels, which allows for a zero to 100 km/h time of 6.2 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h.
Of course, pricing will be on everyone’s mind, and in Thailand, the 330Li M Sport goes for 2.899 million baht (RM390,286). The sum makes it costlier than the standard-wheelbase 320d M Sport and plug-in hybrid 330e M Sport offered there, which are priced at 2.549 million baht (RM343,252) and 2.799 million baht (RM376,918) respectively. This premium for the long-wheelbase model is also evident in India, where the model is known as the 3 Series Gran Limousine.
The current 3 Series range in Malaysia (minus the M3) consists of three variants, including the 320i Sport, 330i M Sport and 330e M Sport), priced from RM226,764 to RM271,212. Extrapolating from Thailand and India’s pricing structure, a Malaysia-spec, CKD 330Li will likely be priced higher.
Would you be interested in a long-wheelbase 3 Series and if so, how much are you willing to pay for it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Source: Read Full Article