The ti badge is returning to the BMW range with the new 128ti
The new 1 series variant will be available in November 2020 and will have a 265 hp 2.0-litre TwinPower Turbo engine!
The ti (standing for "Turismo Internazionale") badging has been absent from the BMW lineup for some time now. That isn't the case anymore, however, as BMW has decided to revive the badge for a new variant of the 1 series! Called the 128ti, this new front-wheel-drive variant is based on the M Sport specification for BMW's smallest model, but it's got a few cool little extras to make it a top-notch drivers car!
For starters, it borrows quite a few exterior features from the range-topping M135i xDrive including the distinctive outer air intakes on the front apron and the Air Curtains. The Air Curtains have a unique detail to the 128ti though as they are finished in red. The bottom of the side skirts are also finished in red on cars that are specified with Storm Bay metallic, Mineral Grey metallic, Sapphire Black metallic or Alpine White (like the car in the press photos you're seeing here) exterior colours. If your 128ti is in Melbourne Red or Misano Blue, the accents and ti badges are black. Pretty cool colour combinations, I have to say!
It's not just the exterior that looks great too. The interior of the 128ti is a real treat as well with its red accents (including red stitching all over the place!) and figure-hugging seats. It also features the latest version of BMW's operating system in the infotainment setup, with gesture control and a 9.2-inch head-up display available as optional extras. BMW interiors are always great places to be with lots of high-quality details and materials and it looks like the 128ti is going to be absolutely no different! As it's based on the M Sport trim, the M Sport seats are available as an optional extra.
The really awesome stuff though with the 128ti is what goes on with the oily bits. It's here that this new model borrows heavily from the M135i xDrive. The bespoke M Sport suspension for this model uses the range-topping 1 series' firmer anti-roll bars and anti-roll bar mounts, as well as stiffer springs and shock absorbers and a 10mm lower ride height compared to a run-of-the-mill 1 series. That would be awesome enough on its own, but the 128ti makes things even better in the engine department; it comes with a 2.0-litre TwinPower Turbo engine producing 265hp and 400nm of torque! This healthy dollop of power allows the 128ti to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 6.1 seconds and reach a top speed of an electronically limited 155 mph. That power is sent to the wheels through the typical 8-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel paddle shifters that BMW likes to use in basically everything these days.
If all that power and torque in a front-wheel-drive car has you worried, BMW's already thought of that as the 128ti has a special steering setup designed to eliminate torque steer as well as a Torsen diff lifted straight from the M135i xDrive. With that steering setup and Torsen diff you should have absolutely no worries when you want to do some more spirited driving!
Whilst some enthusiasts may baulk at the fact that the 128ti is only driven by the front wheels and will exclusively be available with an automatic gearbox, that absolutely shouldn't put you off. BMW claims that the 128ti is around 80kg lighter than the M135i xDrive thanks to it not having the xDrive system. The result of this is a much lighter and much more nimble car, one which serious handling junkies are probably going to enjoy quite a bit more than the all-wheel-drive range-topper.
The 128ti will be available from November 2020 and will be priced at £32,995 OTR.