New 2020 BMW 128ti wants your Golf GTI money

The new BMW 128ti will arrive in SA during the first quarter of 2021.
The new BMW 128ti will arrive in SA during the first quarter of 2021.
Image: Supplied

BMW this week announced that it has built a fiery front-wheel drive rival to tackle the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Slotting in beneath the range-topping M135i xDrive, the new 128ti enters the fray with a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine tuned to deliver 195kW and 400Nm. BMW claims that these figures will allow this sporty newcomer to hit 100km/h in a snappy 6.1 seconds while maximum speed is governed to a more than adequate 250km/h. 

As mentioned before, power is sent exclusively to the front wheels via the firm's familiar eight-speed automatic transmission. BMW's engineers also bolted in a proper Torsen mechanical limited-slip differential as well as firmer anti-roll bars and anti-roll bar mounts with higher preload. Other tweaks include a specially tuned M Sport suspension that lowers the car by 10mm plus a remapped electric power steering (EPAS) system.

BMW claims that the 128ti will reach 100km/h in 6.1 seconds.
BMW claims that the 128ti will reach 100km/h in 6.1 seconds.
Image: Supplied

Weighing 80kg less than its bigger brother, the M135i xDrive, the 128ti rides atop unique 18-inch Y‑spoke wheels that can at no additional cost be shod with ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres. A M Sport braking system with red-painted brake calipers is standard.

Moving onto the aesthetic side of things and you'll find that the 128ti stands out from its lesser siblings thanks to an extended “Shadowline” package that applies a black high-gloss finish to both the kidney grilles and side-mirror caps. The M Sport model gets an extra shot of visual aggression with the side skirts and front and rear air curtains finished in red (cars ordered in Melbourne Red or Misano Blue get more subdued black accents).

Racy interior is full of red detailing.
Racy interior is full of red detailing.
Image: Supplied

The cabin continues the racy vibes with standard sport seats with red detailing. Red contrast stitching has also been applied to the door trim, instrument panel, steering wheel rim and airbag cover. Finally, the “ti” logo has been embroidered onto the centre armrest.

BMW has confirmed that the 128ti will be made available to the SA market in the first quarter of 2021. Pricing will be confirmed closer to that time.


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