Leave it to BMW to brag about a technology that goes against its previous "driving pleasure" credentials, but this is how marketing rolls these days. In short, the latest 1 Series facelift commercial showcases the predictive gear shift technology found in the model when equipped with the eight-speed automatic transmission. Using GPS information from the satellite navigation system, the transmission can change gears down before a corner and then back up once through the apex. This happens automatically, to create a smoother driving experience through the twisties.

I’d love to try it, but there are two problems with the ad. The commercial suggests that the technology is new, when in fact it debuted in 2013. And it was initially developed for the Wraith by a Rolls-Royce engineer, and it only recently trickled down to BMW models. In its defense, BMW owns Rolls-Royce, so technology-sharing between the two companies is to be expected.

Both the 1 Series and the Wraith use eight-speed automatic transmissions sourced from ZF, while their satellite navigation systems are very similar, so it was a no-brainer for the tech to be passed onto BMW models eventually. In the Rolls it is called "Satellite-Aided Transmission (SAT), while BMW calls it "Predictive Gear Shift Technology," but they work in the exact same way. Interestingly, an earlier version of the system was developed by a BMW engineer working for the now-defunct Williams-BMW F1 team, but he was since snatched up by Roll-Royce.

BMW 1 Series

2016 - 2018 BMW 1 Series High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review of the 1 Series here.

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