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New BMW 128ti hot hatch revealed: Price, specs and release date

In a nutshell: BMW 128ti

  • The famed ‘ti’ badge - aka ‘Turismo Internazionale’ returns to the BMW range.
  • M Sport specification as standard.
  • 265hp petrol engine with BMW TwinPower turbo technology.
  • Torsen limited-slip differential and bespoke M Sport suspension.
  • Exclusive accents contribute to ‘striking appearance and sporty interior’.
  • November 2020 launch, priced from £32,995 on the road.

BMW has lifted the lid on its new 128ti hot-hatch.

And with prices starting at £32,995 it’s not only cheaper than a Volkswagen Golf GTI, it’s more powerful, too.

The eye-catching, front-wheel-drive 128ti boasts a twin-turbocharged 2.0 petrol engine that produces a healthy 265hp.

The new GTI 8, on the other hand, costs from £33,460 and has just 245hp. If you’re worried about practicality, the 128ti is also a five-door vehicle, just like the GTI.

And because those numbers really matter to petrolheads, the strikingly-style 128ti is a genuine competitor to that road-going icon that is the GTI.

In case you’re wondering, the ‘ti’ bit stands for ‘Turismo Internazionale’ and was last seen in the unremarkable and unloved BMW 318ti of the Noughties.

This new ti, on the other hand, means business.

While lighter than the flagship M135i xDrive, the ti does share the same anti-roll bars and brakes as the M135i xDrive.

And there’s plenty of aggressive M Sport styling as standard. Owners get distinctive front and rear aprons, outer air intakes, red-trimmed air curtains, and side sills in a different colour to the rest of the paintwork.

There’s a black BMW kidney grille and dual 90mm diameter black chrome tailpipe finishers as standard, while 18-inch Y spoke alloys are exclusive to the BMW 128ti.

Step inside the 128ti and there’s red accents throughout, heated M Sport seats, ambient lighting and BMW’s Operating System 7.0 which can be specced up to a 10.25 inch touchscreen.

Meanwhile the mechanicals appear to be properly thoroughbred, too.

As standard, you get specially tuned, bespoke M Sport suspension, with stiffer modified springs and shock absorbers – and which is also 10mm lower than the M135i xDrive.

A Torsen limited-slip differential - yep, the same one that’s in the M135i xDrive - is also included for improved traction, agility and stability.

Speaking about the car’s cornering prowess, BMW explains: “If the inside wheel loses grip while powering through a bend and the driver accelerates at the same time, the limited-slip differential directs more torque to the wheel with greater grip, thereby preventing wheel slip and enhancing traction and agility.”

And then, most importantly, there’s what’s under the bonnet.

Lift the latch and you’ll find a 265hp, 2.0-litre engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. Peak torque of 400Nm is available from 1,750-4,500rpm.

That powerful mill means the BMW 128ti can sprint from 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds and reach a limited top speed of 155mph.

And despite all of that pace, it’ll still return up to 46.3 miles to the gallon while emitting 148-139g/km of CO2.

The engine is bolted to an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission for rapid automatic gear changes, while shift paddles on the steering wheel also allow the driver to change gear manually at any point.

The 128ti is due to go on sale next month - and it’s highly likely to be in great demand while giving the facelifted Golf GTI a fascinating run for its money.

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