BMW revives ‘ti’ nameplate with Golf GTI-beating 1-Series

In the wake of the successful launch of the latest BMW 1-series, including the top-spec BMW 135i xDrive, the Bavarian manufacturer has unleashed a front-wheel drive demon to take on the might of the ever-popular Volkswagen Golf GTI.

The BMW 128ti revives the ‘ti’ nameplate last seen on the 3 Series Compact, which included the popular 318ti. Historically, however, ‘ti’ has stood for ‘turismo internazionale’, a name denoting sportiness and relative exclusivity.

The new 128ti is fitted with a 2.0-litre engine mated to an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission. Combined, they rocket the hatchback from 0-100km/h in just 6.3 seconds, producing 180kw of power and 380Nm of torque along the way.

The detuned engine isn’t the only thing shared with the M135i xDrive - the less-powerful variant also features the same M Sport brakes, firmer anti-roll bars, and stiffer springs and shocks. The car also comes fitted with M Sport suspension with a 10mm drop and a Torsen limited-slip differential.

What does all this jargon mean? It means this BMW is ready to tackle the Golf GTI head-on, challenging Volkswagen’s domination of the front-wheel drive hot hatch segment.

The 128ti looks the part, too. Aside from obvious changes like a sporty black grille and red or black accents on the bumpers and side skirts, the BMW boasts red-painted brake calipers, 18-inch, two-tone alloy wheels, and a whole bunch of unique accents and trimmings on the inside.

BMW calls the 128ti “highly engaging” and “particularly sporty”, and on paper, it certainly looks the part.

PRICING

MODELPRICE
BMW 128tiFrom R687 418
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