THE new BMW 128ti hatch, which expands the 1 Series range that already includes the 118i and M135i xDrive, will arrive at Australian BMW dealers early next year and offer outstanding performance and an extensive list of features and equipment.
The 128ti features a raft of elements designed for unfiltered driving pleasure, from specially tuned M Sport suspension to a potent 2.0-litre engine with BMW TwinPower turbo technology that generates 180kW and 380Nm.
It will also carry distinguishing exterior and interior touches that provide character and presence, and is built on tradition. Since the 1960s the TI (later ‘ti’) badge has stood for Turismo Internazionale, marking out particularly sporty members of the model range.
The successful history of the TI models began in 1963 with the BMW 1800 TI and reached its first major pinnacle in the form of the two-door BMW 2002 TI.
This was the car in which future Formula One driver, Le Mans winner and DTM champion Hans-Joachim Stuck teamed up with Clemens Schickentanz to win the first running of the legendary Nürburgring 24-hour race in 1970.
In the late 1990s, the BMW 3 Series Compact, in BMW 323ti and BMW 325ti form, epitomised the philosophy of the focused compact car. The new BMW 128ti is based on the M Sport model specification available for the BMW 1 Series.
It has a distinctive front apron with specially sculpted air intakes and the rear apron from the M Sport in high-gloss black, underscoring its standalone character with striking coloured accents.
The special covers for the outer air intakes carried over from the front apron of the range-topping BMW M135i xDrive and the trim for the air curtains (high-gloss black elsewhere in the 1 Series range) are in a sporting red colour.
Highlights include the air vents exiting the rear wheel arches in the rear bumper. The side skirt trim and ‘ti’ badge located above it ahead of the rear wheels are also red on specific examples of the BMW 128ti.
This includes those vehicles with Storm Bay metallic, Mineral Grey metallic, Sapphire Black metallic and Alpine White paintwork. If the 128ti is ordered with the Melbourne Red metallic or Misano Blue metallic finishes, the accents and ‘ti’ badge come in black.
The BMW 128ti has extended Shadow Line trim with a black BMW kidney grille, and also comes with 18-inch Y-spoke 553 M bi-colour light-alloy wheels designed exclusively for the model variant.
The interior of the BMW 128ti features premium materials and extends the use of red accents from the exterior. These accents create a bold contrast against the black headliner.
A large Race Red surface adorns the backrests of the Sensatec/cloth sport seats. A red ‘ti’ is stitched into the centre armrest which, along with the other armrests, door panels, instrument panel and floor mat edging, also features red contrast stitching.
The steering wheel rim and airbag cover of the standard M Sport steering wheel also have red stitching. Standard specification for the BMW 128ti also includes M door sill strips on the front door openings and M seat belts.
The infotainment system features BMW Operating System 7.0, with two displays offering up to 10.25-inches, with BMW Live Cockpit Professional. A 9.2-inch BMW head-up display will be standard on Australian specification models.
Gesture control will be available as an option. The load compartment has a capacity of 380 litres, rising to 1,200 litres with the rear seat bench folded. Electric tailgate operation is also optional.
The new BMW 128ti boasts a wealth of detailed improvements and comes exclusively with M Sport suspension specially tuned to suit its distinctive character, with a 10-millimetre reduction in ride height for a lower centre of gravity and a more aggressive appearance.
It also adopts the firmer anti-roll bars and anti-roll bar mounts with high preload from the range-topping BMW M135i xDrive, as well as stiffer springs and shock absorbers that have been modified accordingly.
The result is even sharper driving dynamics, helped by the reduced body movement that comes with the bespoke M Sport suspension. The BMW 128ti completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.3 seconds en route to a top speed of 243km/h.
The BMW 128ti is fitted as standard with an eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission.
Fast gear changes ensure the highest possible gear is always engaged, even at low road speeds, while shift paddles on the steering wheel allow the driver to change gear manually at any time.
The standard active sound design (ASD) provides specific amplification of the authentic engine sound and adapts it to the character of the BMW 128ti. It’s priced at $56,900 (plus on-roads). For further information, please contact your local BMW dealer.