Launch: BMW 128ti


BMW’s contender in the hot hatch segment has launched in South Africa and will be available to consumers from next month. While the BMW 128ti offers impressive performance, BMW’s objective was to not only create a fast car but the best all-round hot hatch on the market.


At the launch this week, BMW revealed their long-term goal to establish the 128ti as a top hot hatch in the South African market. It will be retailed at a starting price of R687 418, which the manufacturer says will present the segment’s buyers with great value. It is BMW’s first foray into the segment and they have carefully developed a car that they believe will be a firm competitor.

BMW 1 series vehicles traditionally appeal to younger drivers. While the 128ti will likely attract young drivers too, it is also meant to appeal to the young at heart. This is because BMW did not want the hatch to only be about the engine but meet every need a byer into this segment may have.


Consequently, buyers are presented with a car that has plenty to offer in every aspect from aesthetics, to performance to the tech to all it has to offer in the interior. Essentially, a great recipe for a hot hatch.


For the love of driving

The BMW 128ti is a thoroughly enjoyable car to drive. No matter your speed, it feels like there is always much more to give. It has a 2L, 4-cylinder engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo. It has 180kw of power and torque of 380 Nm. The 128ti has an 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission. The 0-100km/h is set at 6.3 seconds. The car is also 80kg lighter than M135i xDrive.


The power output in the 128ti in South Africa has 15 kW less than other markets to fit South African specifications. BMW says this does not affect the performance and it has a top speed of 243km/h despite this difference.


The BMW 128ti is instantly recognisable as part of the BMW family. A red trim is included in the line which successfully adds a level of sportiness to the hatch. There is the option to rather go without if it does not appeal to all potential buyers.


One area where buyers will gain value is in the interior where drivers can enjoy the tech normally present in 3-series vehicles. Great focus was placed on creating a car that exudes modernity from both the exterior and interior.

Ultimately, the new BMW 128ti makes for a great driving car. Those who enjoy exploring all their vehicles have to offer and who love to drive, will find a perfect match in this car.



Engine: 2 litre 4-cylinder TwinPower Turbo

Transmission: 8-speed Steptronic Sport with paddle shift

Fuel consumption: 6.1 to 6.4L/100km

Power: 180 kW

Torque: 380 Nm

Price: starting from R687 418

Warranty: 2-year/unlimited distance warranty and a maintenance plan for five years or 100 000 km.


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