For decades, BMW has been known for making sporty, driver-focused sedans and coupes with power being sent to the back wheels. But in the mid-2010s, the German automaker introduced its first front-wheel-drive vehicle, the 2 Series Active Tourer.

The 2 Series Active Tourer caused an uproar among BMW fans, but that hasn't stopped them from expanding the front-wheel-drive line-up. Now BMW wants to prove that its Mini-based cars can be just as fun as its rear-wheel-drive models.

2021 BMW 128ti: Can a front-drive Bimmer be fun? image

BMW calls it the 128ti, and the “ti” badge is a bit of a throwback to past BMW performance models. But can BMW's first attempt at a traditional hot hatchback deliver? And can it live up to that “ti” badge? Let's take a look at the stats.

2021 BMW 128ti: Can a front-drive Bimmer be fun? image

Powering the 128ti is a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine. The output is 265 PS with a torque figure of 400 Nm. According to BMW, that engine helps propel the 128ti to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds. The top speed is electronically-governed at 250 km/h.

2021 BMW 128ti: Can a front-drive Bimmer be fun? image

Those figures sound impressive, although not quite enough to topple the Honda Civic Type R. The Type R does the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in just 5.8 seconds. Because the Honda doesn't have a speed limiter, the Japanese hot hatch can get up to 272 km/h. However, a recent test showed the Civic Type R can reach 290 km/h, far beyond Honda's claim.

Still, BMW's first traditional hot hatch attempt looks good on paper. A six-second 0 to 100 km/h sprint isn't slow at all, and 250 km/h should be enough for those long Autobahn stretches. Of course, the only way to know if it's any good is a test drive. Since BMW Philippines offers high-performance models locally, we might be able to do that.