The F40 BMW 1 Series range is set to grow larger with a new 128ti variant, which is set to be launched in November this year. Positioned directly below the range-topping M135i xDrive, the 128ti is currently undergoing final testing and will take on the latest Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk8 when it makes its full debut.

In terms of power, the 128ti will pack a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that provides 265 PS (261 hp) and an unknown amount of torque; good for a zero to 100 km/h time of 6.1 seconds. By comparison, the M135i comes with 306 PS (302 hp) and 450 Nm, while the Golf GTI has 245 PS (242 hp) and 370 Nm, with both also using a 2.0 litre turbo four-pot.

An eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission and Torsen limited-slip differential are standard on the 128ti, but there is no xDrive all-wheel drive system like on the M135i. The front-wheel drive layout and other revisions make the 128ti around 80 kg lighter than its more powerful sibling, while other changes include an entirely different tuning for the car’s M Sport suspension and steering system.

BMW notes that the M Sport suspension drops the ride height by 10 mm and adopts the M135i’s pre-stressed stabiliser bearing and stabilisers. Additionally, the car will come with M Sport brakes by default, along with optional sport tyres.

Visually, the 128ti looks rather similar to the M135i, save for tweaks to the edges of both bumpers, which are marked out by swirly camouflage. There’s also a chrome grille surround and insert with vertical slats at the front, with other differences being the brake calipers that also painted red instead of blue, along with a more subtle tailgate spoiler. If you must know, the “ti” refers to Turismo Internazionale, and has been used on previous BMW models like the 2002ti.