The new 2021 BMW 128ti has been officially revealed, ahead of an Australian introduction during the first quarter of next year.

    UPDATE, 1/12/20 BMW has confirmed local pricing and outputs for the 128ti. We’ve updated this story and pulled it forward.

    The 128ti will wear a price tag of $56,900 before on-road costs when it arrives here, slotting it neatly between the entry-level 118i and M135i xDrive Pure.

    Launching in Europe from next month, the BMW 128ti is a new performance variant of the 1 Series to go up against the likes of the Ford Focus ST, Renault Megane RS and Volkswagen Golf GTI.

    Unlike the flagship M135i xDrive, which gets all-wheel drive, the 128ti exclusively drives the front wheels, aided by a Torsen limited-slip differential on the front axle.

    As reported a fortnight ago, the 128ti gets a range of performance-focused modifications under the skin to further aid dynamics and driver engagement.

    Highlights include the aforementioned front LSD, as well as firmer anti-roll bars from the M135i xDrive, stiffer springs and shock absorbers, and specially-tuned M Sport suspension that is 10mm lower than standard. The 128ti is also around 80 kilograms lighter than the M135i xDrive flagship.

    Power comes from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, delivering 180kW of power and 380Nm of torque, down 15kW and 20Nm from the European-market version.

    Drive is sent to the front axle through an eight-speed ‘Steptronic Sport’ torque converter automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

    BMW claims the 128ti can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 6.3 seconds and hit a top speed of 250km/h.

    Fuel consumption for the European market is rated at 6.1-6.4L/100km on the combined cycle depending on specification.

    Standard specification includes the exterior Shadowline package, clothing various elements like the double kidney grille and mirrors caps in black, with darkened headlights available as a BMW Individual option.

    Other appointments include the M Sport brake system with red-painted calipers (a 1 Series first), model-exclusive 18-inch Y-spoke bi-colour alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, unique red or black body accents depending on paint finish, combination sport seats and red contrast stitching throughout the cabin.

    BMW says its ‘ti’ badge harks back to a long line of sporty models, with the nomenclature standing for ‘Turismo Internazionale’.

    Iconic models to wear the badge include the 1960s BMW 1800 TI and 2002 TI to the more recent BMW 323ti Compact and 325ti Compact from the late 1990s.

    Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest, and let us know your thoughts on the BMW 128ti in the comments below.

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers