NEW BMW 128TI set to take Golf GTI by the neck
Hot hatches are by definition larger bodied front-wheel driver hatchback performance cars. Yes, they love to tell you the likes of Merc’s AMG 45s, the Golf R and other AWD challengers, and the old top-end rear-drive 1-series are hot hatches. That’s all just a lie. The hot hatch sector has a king called GTI. And pretenders like Civic R, Megane RS and the lot.
Now BMW is playing disruption. Meet Munich’s first-ever hot hatch. The new 125ti not only calls back that class its ti byline, but it also aims to take Golf 8 GTI squarely by the throat. And it plugs a gaping hole in the range between the tree-pot front-drive Ones and the current flagship AWD 135i too.
128TI IS COMING TO FIGHT GTI IN SA TOO
It is due in SA early next year to take the Golf 8 GTI on, which is also due around then. The new 195 kW 400 Nm direct gasoline injected turbo two-litre 125ti gets to 100 km/h in 6.1 second and on to 250 km/h, It can sip as little as 6.1 litres per 100k m at 138g/km CO2. And complies with the squeaky-clean Euro 6d emissions standard.
A sporty paddle-shift eight-speed Steptronic drives the front end through a Torsen limited-slip differential. The more dynamic 10mm lower 128ti chassis gains performance springs, dampers, stabilizers and elastokinematics. That’ accompanied by an 80 kilogram diet thanks to the elimination of all-wheel drive. Add sharper chassis electronics and a livelier rear axle.
128ti has its own exclusive 18-inch rims with no cost option Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres. Red fixed calliper four-piston monoblock brake calipers gripping 360 mm rotors sit up front. And floating calipers on 300 mm rear discs.
128 TI GETS THE SHADOWLINE TREATMENT
128ti gets the Shadowline treatment via black kidney grille and black mirror caps. There are bright red colour accents, also on the specially shaped and coloured jowl air inlets. A glossy black rear diffuser sits between dual 90mm tailpipe. There’s ample ti branding outside and in where the red accented black leather cabin has a dark headliner. Ass stainless capped pedals and footrests and M door sills and seat belts.