Hot hatch wars: BMW's new 128ti is a Golf GTI rival
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As a brand, BMW is known for making straight-six powered, rear-wheel drive cars. But as the world has moved towards efficiency over driving dynamics, it has had to adapt.
Unveiled as the brand's very first front-wheel drive hot hatch, the 128ti is going after Volkswagen's extremely popular Golf GTI, and BMW is convinced it has the means to do so.
Like the Golf, power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that makes 195kW. This is sent exclusively to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission and a limited-slip differential.
BMW boasts that the 128ti will be around 80kg lighter than the range-topping M135i xDrive, which is mostly just down to the lack of all-wheel drive, but is a significant figure.
Where the Golf completes the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.4 seconds, BMW claims that this new 128ti will do it in 6.1, a slight increase over its German rival.
According to the official release, the 128ti will not just be built for speed, as BMW has put extra care into tuning the suspension and creating “extremely sporty and driver-oriented driving dynamics”.
Last used on the controversial E36 and E46 Compact models, you'll notice that the "Turismo Internazionale" suffix is also tacked onto the end of this model.
To distance it's driving dynamics from the M135i, the 128ti's MSport suspension will offer a harsher ride, but then also make use of the same MSport brakes.
This new 128ti will be launched across Europe in November, so we can imagine that it will be making its way down to New Zealand some time next year.