Has BMW just made the best of the 1-Series?
The Ti badge also makes a return.
BMW is one automaker which makes not only those cars stacked up at the high-end of the price spectrum bristling with luxury and exuding power but there's also a lot of action going on in the entry-level segment. We have always been fans of the irrefutably vehement M2 Competition and the M3 but now there's also the 1-Series which has been spiced up so to be a hooligan that nobody would reckon it's a compromise.
Say hello to the 128ti where 'ti' is the abbreviation for Turismo Internazionale. Remember this phrase? Well, it marks its arrival after almost a 3 decade hiatus. BMW slamming this badge on this car only means it is not here to cause a ripple but stir a deluge. And with the colossal power and acceleration figures that BMW seems to be raving about, I certainly would want to think in this direction.
The car receives a blissful 262 hp and is also conferred upon 400 Nm of twisting force emboldening the car to dart from a standstill lifting its nose to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds from a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo engine. Not too long ago, this figure used to be a common number in the sports car territory. The top speed has been electronically limited to.... you know it by now, 250 Km/h (155 mph). However, those who have already started to dream about taking it to a track might be troubled by the fact that it is a front-wheel driven car. Yes, no all-wheel drive or real-wheel trickery for bewildering performance. Adding to the list of its sore points, there won't be any manual either but the sole 8-speed automatic tranny seems enough to pacify those wanting to mutilate the tyres.
The car also gets its idiosyncrasies just right in the form of cosmetic enhancements with the full-fed M135i being the financier. Hence, it gets the automatic gearbox, stiffer anti-roll bars and anti-roll bar mounts, M Sport brakes and the obvious inclusion, the 2.0-litre turbo engine. One unique bit which you might appreciate or feel afflicted is the artificial noise filtering inside the cabin. With a performance hot hatch, one does expect real and throaty sound but for some reason, BMW used this technology with the 128ti. They say with conviction that the car delivers a "thrilling, richly sporting aural experience for the driver.” The car also has its springs lowered by 10 mm and also receives a Torsen limited-slip differential for better traction.
Visual drama is lent to the car by red ornate on the air intakes, blacked-out "kidney grille", wing mirrors, the facade of the a-pillar and a diffuser with dual exhausts. However, the entire diffuser portion seems a bit jarring and lurid to the eyes rather than elegant and sporty. The red covering for the side skirts, air outlets and 'ti' badging adds a healthy dose of aggressive character to the car. View the car with a microscope and one will also take fawning notice of the smoked effect on headlights which is bound to get welcomed by most. The 18" wheels can be ditched for 19-inchers for a nimbler ride. Not satisfied? There's also the option to avail Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires at no added pecuniary loss. The car will first hit the showrooms in Germany followed by its debut in other markets. Is this the best that BMW could have fiddled with the car? I am not too sure but the boffins have certainly done enough to stand head to head in a family duel against the Mini JCW and even the Renault Megane RS, the rookie that is giving a caveat to these expensive toys.