WHAT IS IT?
It’s something that would certainly have been unimaginable just a decade earlier: an efficiency BMW that’s purely front-wheel drive. The 128ti doesn’t use an M badge, however. Think of the dispute if it had …
This is an M cars and truck choice from the opposite of the HQ. It’s what happens when a bunch of designers get their hands on the M135i and also understand it’ll be better with the weight of its back driveshafts skimmed as well as a brand-new suspension configuration. See, BMW’s 4WD warm hatch broadly only utilizes its front axle, sending an optimum of 50 per cent of its 302bhp to the when points obtain slippery. The 128ti sheds 80 kilos by entirely sending power in advance, with some head-scratchingly clever electronics guaranteeing it drives no even worse. And probably much better …
THAT’S SOME DIET REGIMEN. WHAT’S COMPLETION RESULT?
Power is from a comparable 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo, here generating 261bhp. The very same engine (with comparable output) likewise powers the Morgan Plus 4, Toyota’s entry-level Supra and BMW’s very own Z4. Like the latter pair, below it’s attached exclusively to an eight-speed automated transmission– BMW understands that most individuals spec paddles right into their Golf GTI nowadays, which this engine is much better in every respect with two pedals– and also helpful for 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds and a completely foreseeable 155mph full throttle.
DOESN’T SEEM REGRETTABLE. SPEAK WITH ME ABOUT CASH.
It begins at simply under ₤ 34,000, which puts it right in the thick of the everyday warm hatch market, valued competitively versus not simply the Golf, however names like Ford, Hyundai and Renault. It’s quite a detaining prospect. Not least because of those garish red graphics (which do alter colour if you switch to paint that could clash, feel confident).
And also those electronic devices? There’s a brand-new traction control configuration that more smartly alleviates wheelspin, also used to handle the energetic EV torque of the BMW i3S. This is BMW doing front-wheel drive on its own terms, contradicting a few of the conventional distress it long avoided by being the RWD firm. The designers have taken some tightness out of the framework to make it less most likely to understeer, a remedy that’s currently migrating approximately the M135i. There’s a limited-slip differential in advance just to guarantee every last decrease of FWD waywardness has been thrown away and also got by the Bavarian binmen.
WHAT DOES THE ‘TI’ LITTLE BIT IN THE NAME MEAN?
If the badge is new to you, ‘ti’ stands for a not-very-German-sounding Turizmo Internazionale. It’s a nod to the legendary 2002ti of the late Sixties. A situation of heritage to hide heresy? Time to find out …
WHAT’S THE VERDICT?
” BMW’s made a rival to the Golf GTI – and also quite perhaps beaten it”
This isn’t a warm hatch that’ll dazzle you with magic the minute you set off. If that’s what you seek, invest your 34 grand on a GR Yaris. Nope, the 128ti is far more mature than that, whatever those lurid red information might have you believe.
It tackles the Golf GTI at its very own game and also could perhaps beat it, not the very least since the leasing sums work out much better. The 128ti is equally as excellent to drive as the VW, it’s much less of a touchscreen assault on the within and it’s an extra fascinating prospect – and a much more convincing initiative than BMW’s own 4WD M135i.