The Bavarians have made something that was unthinkable just a decade ago. A sporty, front wheel drive competitor in the hot hatch space. The pure front-wheel drive BMW 128ti has arrived and is not an M or M Performance car, but the answer to the booming hot hatch world and its key competitor – the VW Golf GTI Mk8.
Last week, I had the chance to drive and review the new 128ti in Germany. Surprising as it may seem, I preferred it over its more powerful brother – the M135i – but we weren’t entirely the perfect patch. Let’s dive into the details and explain my thoughts in connection to the old and new moniker – the Turismo Internazionale badge.
The History Of The ti Moniker
To understand more about the new ti, we need to look back in the history of BMW. Since the 1960s there have been the BMW 1800 ti and 2002 ti followed by the 323ti Compact and 325ti Compact of the late 1990s. All these models were in essence standard vehicles built sportier than its siblings. In case of the 128ti, the badge was used on a car that doesn’t offer more sportiness, but instead considerable weight savings and a decrease in power. The result is a more agile nature and less complicated set up which you will come across in the M135i.