BMW is reviving the ti badge with new 128ti with pricing announced for Australia, though it is missing just one ingredient we’d love to see.

BMW has pulled the wraps away from the first modern-day BMW to wear ‘ti’ lettering, revealing what will be the 128ti sitting one wrung underneath the BMW M135i XDrive on showrooms.

The 128ti is a straight-on rival for the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Ford Focus ST, Hyundai i30 N, and Honda Civic Type R.

But it is missing something all but the Golf GTI has, which is a manual transmission.

BMW Australia has also now announced pricing and availability, with the 128ti priced from $56,900 plus on-roads and in local dealers early 2021.

Standard inclusions include:

  • 18-inch M light alloy wheels 553M Bicolour with performance tyres
  • Cloth/Sensatec upholstery, black with red stitching
  • Comfort Access System
  • M Sport brakes, red high-gloss
  • M seat belts
  • M leather steering wheel with red stitching
  • Floor mats in velour with red accents#
  • Electric seat adjustment
  • Adaptive LED headlights
  • High-beam assistant
  • Automatic air-conditioning, two-zone
  • M Sport suspension with specific tuning
  • M rear spoiler
  • BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line with extended contents

Instead, the front-wheel driven 128ti will be fitted with an eight-speed automatic exclusively, mating against the same 2.0-litre turbo engine of the M135i, though detuned to 192kW and 400Nm. Still, that’s handy enough to help the ti hit 100km/h from a standstill in 6.1sec.

This is in part due to its 80kg lighter weight (doing away with an all-wheel-drive system) and Torsen mechnical limited-slip differential between the front axles.

Other enhancements are M sport suspension, stiffer and 10mm lower than standard, larger brakes pulled form the M135i, and a nicer exhaust with artificially amplified sound plumed into the cabin. Inside, we find leather and trim, 10.25-inch infotainment and driver screens, and a large head-up display.

The exterior is finished with an orange theme on sportier bodykit parts, making sure the ti stands out.

Priced right, the BMW 128ti could be the perfect beldn in the range as a bang-for-your-bucks proposal, even if it can no longer be rear-wheel drive.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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