The redesigned top of the range 760i due on sale next autumn will be the first BMW with ZF's new eight-speed automatic transmission.

The new transmission can also form part of a mild or full hybrid system with an electric motor which is integrated in the same installation space, ZF said.

The supplier claimed the new transmission alone would deliver fuel savings of 6% compared to its current second-generation six-speeder. The addition of an electric motor for hybrid applications would result in claimed additional fuel savings of up to 15% in mild hybrid form.

ZF also supplies numerous other components and systems for the redesigned 7-series line launched last year. These include the standard 'dynamic damping control', an advancement of ZF Sachs' CDC variable damping system which features two electronically adjustable proportional valves per damper to individually regulate the characteristics of the compression and tension stages.

That system is also cross-linked to the hydraulic ARS 'active roll stabilisation' (BMW calls it 'dynamic drive') system, also from ZF Sachs.

The 760i will also have optional 'servotronic' speed-dependent, 'active' rack and pinion steering supplied by ZF Lenksysteme, a joint venture between Robert Bosch and ZF Friedrichshafen.

The active steering option has a variable steering ratio which adapts flexibly to the driving situation. It is claimed to increase driving comfort at low speeds by providing smaller steering angles and it improves safety during evasion manoeuvres or in crosswinds by means of driver-independent steering intervention.