Turismo Internazionale—to BMW fans, this name takes them back to the days when cars like the 1800 TI, 2000TI, and the iconic 2002 TI were all the rage. Well, the legendary suffix from the 1960s (and later, the 1990s with the 325ti) is back with the reveal of the 2021 BMW 128ti.
While its predecessors were all rear-wheel drive numbers, today’s ti is strictly front-wheel drive. Nonetheless, BMW gives it hot hatch visual cues like a blacked out kidney grille, a more aggressive body kit, blacked out side mirror caps and headlights, and 18-inch black and red alloys wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires, which can be upgraded to 19s for an even sportier vibe.
Sporty looks aside, the 128ti is kitted out with goodies borrowed from the M135i xDrive, which include firmer anti-roll bars, M sport brakes, and the 2.0-liter turbocharged mill. In this application, it puts out 262bhp and 295lb-ft of torque, sent to (as mentioned above) the front wheels via 8-speed Steptronic Sport gearbox.
This engine-tranny combo is enough to propel the little Bimmer from 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds and a terminal velocity of 250km/h. Apart from the engine, the 128ti is fitted with M Sport suspension along with a Torsen limited slip differential and a 10mm lower ride height for improved handling and driving dynamics.
Aimed squarely at the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, the new BMW 128ti is for those looking a true hot hatch for the modern times.