BMW’s 128ti performance hatch will be detuned for South Africa

By Jason Woosey Time of article published Oct 8, 2020

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MUNICH - On Wednesday BMW revealed a new performance hatch called the 128ti, which was designed to take the Volkswagen Golf GTI head-on, but now it appears that the version coming to South Africa will be detuned.

Earlier today Car Advice reported that the Australian version of the 128ti would be detuned from 195kW to 180kW, and after reaching out to BMW South Africa, we now have confirmation that the same will apply for local models.

The spokesperson also confirmed that the detune is due to South Africa being classified as a hot weather country, and that the same applies to Australia.

On the upside, 180kW is still enough to match the eighth-generation Golf GTI, which is due to hit the streets early next year.

It’s interesting to note that Volkswagen originally detuned the seventh-generation Golf R from 228kW to 213kW, while it’s Audi S3 cousin also got a power cut, as VWSA classified South Africa as a ‘hot weather’ market, and this applied to Australia as well. But then, for some reason, the company reclassified both countries as moderate weather markets and then released the ‘full-fat’ Golf R and S3.

So much for the planet getting warmer…

Back to BMW, at this stage the M135i xDrive, which uses an upgraded version of BMW’s 2-litre turbopetrol, does not appear to be affected by the country’s climate classification, but we will let you know if anything changes.

What else can BMW 128ti customers look forward to?

The new front-wheel drive performance hatch is 80kg lighter than its AWD M135i xDrive sibling, and also comes with some sporty hardware, including a Torsen limited-slip differential, model-specific steering set-up and a sports suspension system that lowers the 128ti by 10mm versus regular 1 Series hatches.

As previously reported, it’s also set apart by an extended Shadowline package that includes high-gloss black colouring for the grille and mirror caps, and the M Sport model also gets red treatment for the front and rear air curtains and side skirts - which is replaced with black trim if you order the car in Melbourne Red or Misano Blue.

Standard sports seats with red accents liven up the cabin, along with red contrast stitching for the steering wheel, door trims and instrument panel.

IOL Motoring

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