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      09-16-2020, 04:31 AM   #1
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F40 128ti car completes its final test laps at the Nürburgring

A press release from BMW stating that the 128ti is now entering its final testing phases.

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During its final test phase, the new compact sports car BMW 128ti (combined fuel consumption: 6.4 – 6,1 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 148 – 139 g/km*) is currently undergoing thorough calibration test drives on the hilly roads of the Eifel around the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring and, of course, also directly on the world’s most demanding racetrack. A special focus lies on the dynamic handling characteristics of the new variant of the BMW 1 Series, which has been consistently designed for active driving pleasure. The new model will be brought to market in November 2020.

Sports car with a character of its own.
The front-wheel drive BMW 128ti is positioned directly below the top-of-the-range model of the BMW 1 Series, the BMW M135i xDrive (combined fuel consumption: 7.1 – 6.8 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 162 – 154 g/km) and also features its newly developed 2-litre engine. The four-cylinder with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology beneath the bonnet of the BMW 128ti has a power output of 195 kW (265 bhp), facilitating sporty driving performance such as the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds. However, the new BMW 128ti is much more than just a new BMW 1 Series variant. In addition to many differentiating exterior and interior features, the entire suspension and steering were specifically tuned to offer extremely sporty and driver-oriented driving dynamics. Consequently, the new, exclusively front-wheel drive sports car addresses a particularly young target group with a focus on typical BMW driving pleasure.

Technical highlights for high precision and direct response.
The new BMW 128ti comes as standard with the 8-speed Steptronic sport transmission and a Torsen limited-slip differential, providing for better traction on the front axle. It has a specifically tuned M sport suspension including lowering by 10mm as well as BMW Performance Control, which has been specially adapted for increased agility. Furthermore, the steering has been specifically aligned to the vehicle for precise reactions, providing the driver with direct response. Moreover, the BMW 128ti is around 80 kilos lighter than the four-wheel drive BMW M135i xDrive, from which it takes the highly pre-stressed stabiliser bearing and the stabilisers. Sports tyres are optionally available to the customer at no extra charge and guarantee even more driving pleasure. M sport brakes known from the top-of-the-range model guarantee braking characteristics that match the driving performance.
Source: https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/globa...st-laps-at-the
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      09-16-2020, 04:35 AM   #2
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And the first drive article by AutoCar UK:

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We can bemoan the fact that the BMW 1 Series has swapped six cylinders for four and rear-wheel drive for (mostly) front, but it's not all bad. Eighteen months ago work started on the 128ti.

When it arrives in November with an asking price of around £32,000, this will be BMW’s first proper hot hatch in the traditional front-driven mould, and is simultaneously an odd and exciting prospect. It feels much like Porsche building an M3-rival, or Alpine trying its hand at a Volkswagen Up GTI: new ground is most definitely being trodden and an attempt to muscle into an established clique of cars very obviously being made. Yet despite the various unknowns, you’d still expect the result to be good.

The 128ti is also a reminder that things move quickly in this industry. Even five years ago it’s unlikely the hot-hatch front-runners – currently Volkswagen, Ford and Honda – thought they might potentially have a Munich-flavoured problem on their hands so soon.

Of course, this car does not represent entirely new ground for BMW. Plenty of the engineers who have worked on hot Minis over the years have been involved. And many of those cars have been very good indeed, despite the intense disappointment of the latest JCW GP. Meanwhile the name revives for only the third time the ‘Turismo Internazionale’ moniker first seen on the 1963 1800 TI.

The name underlines one fact BMW is very keen to put across, which is that this new 261bhp hot hatch is less about point-to-point pace and much more about the driving experience – or 'easy manipulation of the physics’, in the poetry of German engineers. As such there are plenty of detail changes to be found on the 128ti, even if hardware is mostly recognisable from the range-topping M135i.

The 1998cc turbocharged petrol engine is shared, only with the wick turned down from 306bhp. And as with the M135i, the only available transmission is an eight-speed automatic. BMW’s defense for not offering a manual on this self-proclaimed driver-focused model is two-fold.


Firstly, it claims uptake would be low, perhaps even less than one third of sales. Secondly, emissions targets would necessitate long gearing for a six-speed manual, whereas the extra two cogs on the automatic mean the lower ratios can be usefully closed up for punchier acceleration. So as it stands, the 128ti comes with one engine tune, one gearbox, and with passive suspension only.

And it’s the chassis of which that suspension forms an integral part that is by far the most interesting piece of the puzzle. Our short drive on the roads around the Nürburgring make one thing clear, which is that the 128ti is comfortably more engaging and keen than its four-wheel drive M135i rangemate.

I can’t speak for its most obvious rival, because I haven’t yet driven the Volkswagen Mk8 Golf GTI, but in broad handling terms the BMW also feels more mobile and fluid than the Honda Civic Type R but not as outright playful as the Ford Focus ST, which the development team enjoyed driving during benchmarking. Overall it feels a lot like you'd expect a BMW hot hatch to feel, being agile but composed and with a good degree of throttle-adjustability. Which is a relief.

As for how it happens, there’s a combination of factors. In an effort to reduce understeer and improve turn-in, the underbody bracing found in the front of the M135i has been chucked and the degree of toe-in reduced at all four corners. The springs are also considerably stiffer (around 8%) and the compression-damping rates higher, and crucially the distribution of stiffness has changed, migrating rearwards.

Some of the personnel involved – speaking at BMW's development workshop in the village of Nürburg – explained that these measures at first resulted in a car too alert and responsive. Too ‘pointy’, frankly. Therefore the speed of the steering has been marginally reduced compared to the M135i. Without the stability of a driven rear axle, the locking ratio for the torsen differential has also fallen from 38% to 31% for the 128ti.

At the ground level, BMW has then gone for Michelin’s Pilot Sport 4 tyres, which are less aggressive than you'll find on most cars in this class and offer more evidence that raw pace isn’t the aim here. However, the LSD is still a potent force during hard cornering – or at least it seems that way. BMW’s EPAS rack can now predicts torque-steer and apply counter-torque if necessary, so it's not easy to tell how consistently the differential is actually working, even the net effect is… very effective

So, the big question. Do you hold off from buying anything until you’ve test-driven the 128ti in November?

You’d be foolish not to, because the 128ti is potentially an excellent option. The main concern is that even on the nicely modest 18in wheels, ride quality on British roads might be too lively for most. We’ll have to wait and see. One other minor qualm is that the B48 engine suffers more from turbolag than I was expecting, given the tune is lighter than in the M135i, though it isn't conspicuously laggy compared to rivals.

The BMW is otherwise an impressive, if outwardly quite subtle, effort. It's seriously quick but neat and natural to guide along the road in a way even the old six-cylinder car wasn’t.

It’s also balanced, keener than the big-boned exterior suggests and the roll-rates and steering response are conspicuously well matched, which is lucky because this helps disguise the fact the 128ti is tubby compared to its rivals. (BMW, if you're reading this, please do consider building a 128ti 'Leichtbau'). Really throw it down an uneven road and it stays remarkably calm, but not aloof.

If BMW’s first proper hot hatch lacks anything, it’s that little bit of fizz – a defining attribute. The sensational driving position of the Civic Type R, the rabid agility of the Renault Mégane RS, the 2.3-litre engine in the Focus ST.

Equally, it might just be the least flawed of any of them, which counts for so much in the hot-hatch dogfight.
Source: https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/n...28ti-prototype





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      09-17-2020, 12:53 AM   #3
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I think I'd like one of these...very much. Even more with m/t
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      09-18-2020, 07:01 AM   #4
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Definitely going to be on my list of cars to seriously consider when it comes time to change the GTI...

Having lived with the GTI for nearly 18 months I am convinced this sort of price/performance level is the perfect solution for a "hot hatch" in 2020/21... Just about any warm/hot hatch is going to be a compromise of what you do in the car for 90% of the time vrs the times when you want to have a little fun... So it has to be economical, well packaged, and fun... Which is what the original Mk1 Golf GTI did well...

Being honest, my Mk7.5 GTI is pretty much there, but I would like it to have a bit more of the refinement of my previous 3-er BMW's... The 1-er does, I have driven it, so I can imagine that a 128ti is pretty close to how I would blend up a warm/hot hatch...
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      09-18-2020, 06:40 PM   #5
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Smart move by bmw
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      09-18-2020, 10:43 PM   #6
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And, with the JCW GP around, it should be no issue to tune a bit more 'fizz' into that motor 😉

With a little more wheelbase and track width, it ought to handle very well, too.
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      09-19-2020, 12:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttimbo View Post
And, with the JCW GP around, it should be no issue to tune a bit more 'fizz' into that motor 😉

With a little more wheelbase and track width, it ought to handle very well, too.
Interesting that the new engine has 6hp more than the 330i B48.

I reckon this will be a good seller as its a detuned m135i B48 engine rather than a tuned up 330i B48 engine which already has pretty good power and torque

Last edited by knali8; 09-19-2020 at 01:33 AM..
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