BMW 128ti Takes Aim At VW Golf GTI With 262-HP, Front-Drive Hot Hatch

18 September 2020 - motor1

BMW 128ti Takes Aim At VW Golf GTI With 262-HP, Front-Drive Hot Hatch

BMW wants it to appeal to younger folks looking for something exciting to drive.

The BMW 128ti brings a milder hot hatch to the brand's European lineup. Development of it is currently finishing up at the Nürburgring ahead of being available in November 2020.

The 128ti sits a step below the M135i xDrive in the 1 Series range. Unlike its sibling, the new model is front-wheel drive, but BMW touts this car weighing 176 pounds (80 kilograms) less than the hotter vehicle. A Torsen limited-slip differential helps the 128ti put the power down.

The model's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder produces 262 horsepower (195 kilowatts), versus 302 hp (225 kW) from the M135i xDrive. The engine connects to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The 128ti gets to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 6.1 seconds.

BMW also adjusts the suspension to sit 0.39 inches (10 millimeters) lower than a standard 1 Series. The steering receives a tweaked setup for a more direct response. The M Sport brakes come from the M135i xDrive. As a no-cost option, buyers can specify sport tires.

BMW isn't discussing pricing for the 128ti, but the company says that it's targeting the vehicle at a younger demographic who are looking for an exciting driving experience. For comparison, a M135i xDrive in Germany starts at €41,596.64 ($49,318 at current exchange rates) and taxes take the figure to €48,252.10 ($57,209). This is before any options. Given the high price, the automaker apparently sees for a less expensive yet still exciting vehicle.

Don't look for the 128ti to come to the United States, like the rest of the modern 1 Series lineup. The closest thing to it would be the next-gen 2 Series coupe, which is remaining rear-wheel drive.

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