BMW is reviving the ti badge with new 128ti, though it is missing just one ingredient we’d love to see.
BMW has pulled the wraps away from the first modern-day BMW to wear ‘ti’ lettering, revealing what will be the 128ti sitting one wrung underneath the BMW M135i XDrive on showrooms.
Due to land in Australia early next year and at an expected (though to be confirmed) price under $50,000, the 128ti is a straight-on rival for the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Ford Focus ST, Hyundai i30 N, and Honda Civic Type R.
But it is missing something all but the Golf GTI has, which is a manual transmission.
Instead, the front-wheel driven 128ti will be fitted with an eight-speed automatic exclusively, mating against the same 2.0-litre turbo engine of the M135i, though detuned to 192kW and 400Nm. Still, that’s handy enough to help the ti hit 100km/h from a standstill in 6.1sec.
This is in part due to its 80kg lighter weight (doing away with an all-wheel-drive system) and Torsen mechnical limited-slip differential between the front axles.
Other enhancements are M sport suspension, stiffer and 10mm lower than standard, larger brakes pulled form the M135i, and a nicer exhaust with artificially amplified sound plumed into the cabin. Inside, we find leather and trim, 10.25-inch infotainment and driver screens, and a large head-up display.
The exterior is finished with an orange theme on sportier bodykit parts, making sure the ti stands out.
Priced right, the BMW 128ti could be the perfect beldn in the range as a bang-for-your-bucks proposal, even if it can no longer be rear-wheel drive.
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