BMW 128ti Tested: Should The FWD Hot Hatch Establishment Worry?


The idea of a front-wheel drive hot hatch from BMW might have seemed unthinkable not too long ago, but as it turns out, the 128ti is just that.

Unveiled roughly six months ago, the 128ti revives the ‘ti’ (Turismo Internazionale) nameplate used by other BMW models including the 1800 TI, 2002 ti, 323ti Compact, and 325ti Compact.

The 128ti is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 261 hp and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. While that is less than some other front-wheel drive hot hatches like the Hyundai i30 N and Honda Civic Type R, these are still respectable numbers and, according to the reviewer, provide more than enough punch for sporty driving.

Also Watch: BMW 128ti’s Straight-Line Performance Tested In The Real World

According to BMW’s own numbers, the 128ti can hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.1 seconds. The reviewer managed to beat that time in rainy conditions, reaching 62 mph in 5.95 seconds.

To ensure the car handles as it should, BMW has equipped it with specially-tuned M Sport suspension that includes stiffer springs and shock absorbers. There are also stiffer anti-roll bars and the same anti-roll bar mounts as the M135i xDrive.

BMW has also made various exterior and interior changes to the car. More specifically, it features custom 18-inch Y-spoked 553 M bi-color alloy wheels and has various red accents. These red accents continue in the cabin with an embroidered ‘ti’ badge in the center armrest and contrast stitching on the steering wheel, door panels, seats, dashboard, and seatbelts.

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