BMW has announced a new hot hatch that will join the 1 Series range, sitting just below the top-spec M135i.
Called 128ti, it will have a newly developed 2.0-litre engine that sends 261bhp and 400Nm to the front wheels, distinguishing it from the all-wheel-drive M135i.
It’s designed to fill a gap between the new generation of hyper hatches and the firm’s regular 1 Series model, with its drivetrain pitting it against rivals such as the Honda Civic Type R and Hyundai i30 N.
Rather than simply remove the rear-wheel-drive portion of the M135i’s drivetrain, BMW overhauled the 128ti underneath to make it fun to drive. The entire suspension and steering have a specific tune for this model, which BMW says targets a younger demographic looking for ‘driving pleasure’.
Other technical highlights include an eight-speed automatic transmission and a limited-slip differential, which helps put the power through the front wheels. It’s 10mm lower than the standard car and 80kg lighter than an M135i.
Sports tyres are optional but have no extra cost, while it borrows the M sport brakes from its faster sibling.
The model is currently in the pre-production testing phase, with prototypes lapping the Nurburgring Nordschleife and the roads around the circuit. It will go on sale in November this year.