2017 Borgward Isabella Concept
There was a lot of hype surrounding the Borgward Isabella Concept ahead of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. I even got a little caught up in the buzz. It’s a good thing, then, that Borgward delivered in spades on its promise to shake up Frankfurt with the Isabella Concept because the car is absolutely stunning – never mind that Borgward didn’t bring any information on the car’s powertrain behind the hints of it going electric in the event it hits production. I was prepared for that because the company made it clear that the Isabella Concept would be a design exercise more than anything else. And as far as that was concerned, the company passed its Frankfurt test with a firework of exploding colors.
As far as concepts go, this is the kind that you wish had a production future with no changes made to it. I know that’s asking a little too much given how concepts go in the first place, but it’s a credit to Borgward’s design team that it could create a concept study like the Isabella and have people clamoring for it to come to life. At the very least, the Isabella marks a triumphant return to the Western auto scene for Borgward. It’s been gone for over 50 years and while it has returned by way of the arrivals of the BX5 crossover and the BX7 SUV in the Chinese market, the Isabella Concept is the first real indication that Borgward is making some noise once again. I don’t mind it one bit. I may not have been alive when the old Borgward went under, but I sure am looking forward to seeing what the new Borgward is capable of moving forward.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Borgward Isabella Concept
The New-Look Borgward Isabella Is Back From The Grave
Borgward has come a long way since closing its doors in 1961. It took over 54 years, but thanks in large part to the influx of funds from Chinese manufacturers, the German automaker returned to the auto scene last year with the BX7 SUV in China. It quickly followed that up with the smaller BX5 crossover, and with the success of the two models, it opened the door for the company to return to its home market, and its first offering of the future comes with a very familiar name. It’s hard to say whether the Borgward Isabella that’s currently at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show is the spiritual successor of the popular 1950’s model or an entirely new one altogether. What’s clear, though, is that the new Isabella has its an eye on the future, and it’s looking to get there with a futuristic design and an electric powertrain.
Even clearer is the fact that the new Isabella looks the part of a modern-day sports car. Borgward calls the car’s new design philosophy an “impression of flow,” and for what it’s worth, it’s hard to argue against that assertion because the car certainly has the body that flows seamlessly, thanks in part to a design that features a sloping nose, nice flowing lines, and a sleek fastback roofline that carries some design influence from the OG Isabella from the 50’s. Unfortunately, the Isabella itself is still a concept and there’s no word yet about Borgward’s plans with it. For now, we can look forward to the company’s new line of crossovers and SUVs hitting the European market by the end of 2017 and hope that one day, the Isabella, or whatever name it ends up getting, will join them in the fold.
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When Borgward announced that it will return to the market after a 54-year hiatus at the Geneva Motor Show, where it showcased a restored Isabella coupe from the 1950s, I honestly believed that the German brand, now backed up financially by Chinese truck manufacturer Foton, will bring some sort of compact to the market. Turns out Borgward had completely different plans, as its first product in more than five decades is an SUV.
Given Borgward has never built SUVs — it did develop quite a lot of trucks though — it’s rather awkward to see red-and-white badge on such a model. On the other hand, it makes some sense for a revival to kick off in such a popular segment, especially with so many automakers moving toward crossovers and SUV in order to increase sales.
Borgward could very well come up with products that are better suited to its heritage in the future, but in the meantime, it’s the BX7 crossover that marked its return after more than half a century. The SUV broke cover at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show in near-production form, and by the looks of things it is aimed at the premium segment.
Updated 09/25/2015: We’ve added a series of new images we took at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Find the new images in the "Pictures" tab.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Borgward BX7.