BMW 128ti is gunning for the Golf GTI
Priced from £32,995 and on sale from November, the 128ti is actually cheaper than the entry-level Golf GTI and sits below the M135i in the BMW range.
Unlike the range-topping all-wheel-drive M135i, the 128ti is front-wheel-drive only but uses a detuned version of the M135i’s 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine driving the car through an eight-speed automatic transmission. In the 128ti the four-cylinder twin-turbo unit produces 261bhp and 295lb ft of torque (vs the Golf’s 242bhp and 273lb ft) which will get it from 0-62mpg in 6.1 seconds and on to 155mph.
BMW says that despite the car’s performance it will return 46.3mpg and emit 139g/km of CO2.
To help control the power, the 128ti gets a Torsen limited-slip differential as standard and specially tuned M Sport suspension that is 10mm lower than other 1 Series M Sports. Setting it apart from regular M Sport models, the 128ti also gets the anti-roll bars and brakes from the M135i while being 80kg lighter than the all-wheel-drive model.
The 128i is based on the existing M Sport specification but features unique visual and trim cues that set it apart. A full sport body kit is supplemented by the air intakes and front apron from the M135i, with red trim on the intakes. Eighteen-inch bi-colour alloy wheels are unique to the 128ti and the side sills get specific “ti” badging, while a variety of high-gloss elements contrast the one of four exterior colours and “black chrome” finishes to exterior trim.
Inside, red accents run throughout the cabin with large red elements on the standard M Sport seats and contrast stitching on the steering wheel, doors and mats. A large ti logo is stitched into the central armrest.
Standard specification includes a 10.25-inch media/navigation screen, folding mirrors, heated seats and cabin ambient lighting while a 9.2-inch head-up display and power tailgate are among the optional extras.