To distinguish the fun 1 Series, the Germans added a plethora of red design touches both to the inside and outside of the car. In the photos embedded here, you will notice the red ti logo on the sides, red details on the bodywork front, rear and sides, red calipers of the M Sport braking system. Those are combined with the Shadowline trim with black BMW kidney grille and black mirror caps, the optional BMW Individual lights Shadowline for the headlights and the 18-inch Y‑spoke 553 M bi-color light-alloy wheels, which were shod in Continental winter tires. The tires, of course, impacted the handling as such and showcased a noticeable increase in understeer, but less than what I experienced in the M135i last year also running similar sized winters.
On the inside, the large Race Red surface in the backrests of the standard sport seats is combined with embroidered “ti” badge in the central armrest, contrast stitching in the other armrests, door panels, instrument panels, steering wheel rim and airbag cover. The interior lighting is set standard to red to finish off the red touches inside the cabin.
To round up the package, I have to admit that I haven’t had the chance to drive the new VW Golf GTI and can’t comment on how both compare to each other. What I can say is that the 128ti isn’t as focused as pure-breds like the Toyota GR Yaris, Honda Civic Type-R, Renault Megane RS or a Hyundai i30N. In the end, it offers a great mix of comfortable driving and unexpected sportiness that are the underlining ingredients of a good hot hatch.
Even more so, it makes in my opinion for the best F40 1 Series package out there right now.