The new BMW 128ti is an unfiltered driving machine with a distinctive character. It is positioned between the BMW 120i and the range-topping BMW M135i xDrive. Market launch will take place in November 2020, with prices in Germany starting at €41,574.79 (incl. 16% VAT).
With its specially tuned M Sport suspension (lowered by 10 millimetres), a Torsen limited-slip differential and a bespoke steering application, the exclusively front-wheel-drive compact sports model is focused squarely on highly engaging driving pleasure.
The BMW 128ti carries over the firmer anti-roll bars and anti-roll bar mounts with high preload from the BMW M135i xDrive. Stiffer springs and shock absorbers adapted accordingly to provide excellent driving dynamics. In addition, the front-wheel-drive 128ti is around 80 kilograms lighter than the flagship model.
The 2.0-litre engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology is a direct offshoot of the variant in the BMW M135i xDrive – the BMW Group’s most powerful four-cylinder unit – and develops 195 kW (265 hp). The eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission is fitted as standard.
As in the BMW M135i xDrive, the standard-fitted M Sport braking system with red-painted brake callipers (a first for a BMW 1 Series model) provides good braking performance. The 18-inch Y‑spoke 553 M bi-colour light-alloy wheels are reserved exclusively for the BMW 128ti, while sport tyres (Michelin Pilot Sport 4) can be specified as a no-cost option.
Exclusive distinguishing features on the inside and outside of the BMW 128ti give the car a distinctive appearance. Taking the M Sport model as a basis, it adds specific covers and trims mouldings, side skirt trim and a “ti” badge ahead of the rear wheels in a sporting red colour. If the BMW 128ti is ordered with the Melbourne Red or Misano Blue metallic paint finishes, the accents and “ti” badge (which can be deleted, if desired) come in black.
The standard specification in Germany includes extended Shadowline trim with black BMW kidney grille and black mirror caps, while the optional BMW Individual lights Shadowline for the headlights creates a darker appearance, helped by the absence of various chrome trim elements.
The interior also contains a host of red accents, including a large Race Red surface in the backrests of the standard sport seats, the embroidered “ti” badge in the central armrest and contrast stitching in the other armrests, door panels and instrument panels. The steering wheel rim and the airbag cover in the M Sport steering wheel feature red stitching.
The BMW 128 ti breathes new life into a long tradition at BMW. Since the 1960s the “TI” (later “ti”) badge has stood for “Turismo Internazionale” and marks out particularly sporty models – from the iconic BMW 1800 TI and BMW 2002 TI to the BMW 323ti Compact and BMW 325ti Compact of the late 1990s.