BMW’s decision to build the new 1-Series on a front-wheel drive-biased platform took many enthusiasts by surprise. Perhaps equally surprising was the launch, last October, of the 128ti, the automaker’s first front-wheel drive hot hatch.
Put to the test by SportAuto’s Uwe Sener, the 128ti lapped the Hockenheim GP at 2:07.20. This makes it slower than the Seat Leon Cupra R ST, a tuned Ford Fiesta ST and the Audi S4 Avant V6 TDI, which posted a 2:06.70, 2:06.40 and 2:06.30 respectively.
That still doesn’t mean much, but all of the above were beaten by the Hyundai i30 N Performance and Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8. The Korean company’s model went across the finish line in 2:06.10, and the new GTI did it in 2:05.60. Further up the chart we find the Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic and Audi S3 Sportback, both with 2:05.20, and the Ford Focus ST Mk4, which clocked a 2:04.80. The 128ti did manage to beat the smaller MINI JCW, which posted a 2:09.60 lap.
In terms of performance, the 128ti is capable of sprinting to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.1 seconds, before maxing out at 155 mph (250 km/h). It is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 261 HP and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque that’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.