2021 BMW 128ti (265 PS) front-driven hot hatch to rival Golf GTI. This is the 2021 BMW 128ti and it is the automaker’s first front-wheel drive hot hatch, designed to slot below the M135i xDrive in its range.
Set to launch in November, the 128ti revives the ‘ti’ (Turismo Internazionale) nameplate that has been used by other sporty BMWs such as the 1800 TI, 2002 TI, 323ti Compact, and 325ti Compact of the late 1990s.
Powering the German hot hatch is the automaker’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, detuned to produce 261 hp and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. Coupled to this engine is an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission that drives the front wheels, helping the hatch to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in a respectable 5.1 seconds.
Of course, front-wheel drive hot hatches are about much more than just straight-line performance. With this in mind, BMW has equipped the 128ti with a specially tuned M Sport suspension system that lowers the car by 10 mm. It also has stiffer anti-roll bars and anti-roll bar mounts from the M135i xDrive, as well as stiffer springs and shock absorbers. BMW is also keen to point out that the 128ti is 80 kg (176 lbs) lighter than the M135i.
Further adding to the vehicle’s performance is an M Sport braking system just like the M135i, complete with red painted brake calipers. The 128ti also sits on a set of custom 18-inch Y-spoked 553 M bi-color alloy wheels and can be equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires at no extra cost. Complementing the new wheels are a range of other exterior updates, including the extended Shadowline trim with a black kidney grille and mirror caps, unique side skirt trim, and a ‘ti’ badge.
Interior upgrades include a host of red accents, an embroidered ‘ti’ badge in the central armrest, and contrast stitching across the other armrests, door panels, and instrument panels. The steering wheel also has red stitching.
German pricing for the 2021 BMW 128ti will start at €41,574 ($48,779) when it goes on sale in November.
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