BMW have thrown down the gauntlet to their luxury rivals with the launch of the X1 SUV and stretched and short wheelbase 3-Series, both models have contributed considerably to BMW’s rapid sales in the Chinese market over the past few months. BMW currently offers the 3-Series in a domestically made stretched version which is sold alongside a short wheelbase sports version that is imported into China, both are powered by 2.0T engines.
The last generation 3-Series could be bought for around 300,000RMB whilst the current generation is retailing for just over 320,000RMB for the low powered 184bhp, the 245bhp sells for 380,000RMB – both are a considerable price increase over the last generation model. BMW plans to increase 3-Series sales by introducing a 1.6T engine that is shared with the 1-Series. The 316i is likely to drop the 3-Series price below the important 300,000RMB barrier putting it more in the 2.0T Audi A4′s price range.