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.

  • 2016 Borgward BX7
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    7-speed dual-clutch
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    221
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    € 26000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Borgward BX7 High Resolution Exterior
- image 646458
2016 Borgward BX7 High Resolution Exterior
- image 646457
2016 Borgward BX7 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 646447

At 185.5 inches long and 75.2 inches wide, the BX7 is about the size of a 2013 Audi Q5. Interestingly enough, its exterior design is also similar to the German crossover, especially as far as the roofline, greenhouse, taillights, and rear bumper go. Sure, the BX7 showcases sharper lines front to rear, but so will the upcoming 2017 Audi Q5, which will borrow its styling from the 2016 Audi Q7.

I'm not accusing Borgward of anything here, as the design features a few cues of its own, but I can't help notice how the BX7 lacks a strong identity.

I’m not accusing Borgward of anything here, as the design features a few cues of its own, but I can’t help notice how the BX7 lacks a strong identity. More so with the standard grille nearly identical to Buick’s traditional "waterfall" unit.

That’s not to say the BX7 isn’t an attractive vehicle. Despite borrowing styling cues already seen on other SUVs, the Borgward was put together quite nicely. It does have Chinese vibe attached to it, which may keep a lot of European customers away.

Much like most of its compact rivals, the BX7 also employs a number of sporty features. The massive grille is complemented by an aggressive front bumper with large foglamp surrounds and a slender lower grille, while the engine hood features deep creases toward the edges and what looks like a power dome in the middle. Around back, there’s a muscular bumper and a pair of wide exhaust pipes.

Besides the standard model Borgward will also offers a Touring Sports version, wearing a TS badge. This trim features a diamond pattern front grille, which is nowhere near as attractive as Mercedes’ similar unit, wider front intakes, beefier side skirts, larger wheels, and a roof spoiler. Expect more details about this when the production car is launched in 2016.

Exterior Dimensions

Overall length 4,713 MM (185.55 Inches)
Overall width 1,911 MM (75.23 Inches)
Overall height 1,677 / 1,694 (roof rack) MM (66.02/66.69 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,760 MM (108.66 Inches)
Track front/rear 1,609 / 1,609 MM (63.34/63.34 Inches)
Angle of repose front/rear Degreeº 20/23
Gradient angle Degree% 67
Wading depth 300 MM (11.81 Inches)
Coefficient of drag cW 0,37

Interior

2016 Borgward BX7 High Resolution Interior
- image 646445
2016 Borgward BX7 High Resolution Interior
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2016 Borgward BX7 High Resolution Interior
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Borgward didn’t have much to say about the BX7’s interior, but a quick glance inside reveals a premium cabin with soft-touch surfaces on the dashboard and door panels, leather-wrapped seats, contrast stitching, aluminum trim, and good attention to detail. A 12.3-inch infotainment system called a "Multiple Interaction" interface provides connectivity for Apple and Android devices, as well as a WiFi hot-spot function. The TS trim comes with two-tone upholstery and a flat-bottom steering wheel, and added standard features. Customers will be able to configure the BX-7’s interior with five, six or seven seats, a rare feature in this segment.

Drivetrain

2016 Borgward BX7 High Resolution Exterior
- image 646437

The BX7 takes its juice from a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine rated at 221 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. Maximum torque is delivered from as low as 1,750 rpm. Two transmissions are offered: a six-speed automatic and a seven-speed dual-clutch, both mated to an all-wheel-drive system. The AWD sends 90 percent of the torque to the front wheels under normal conditions, but it can deliver more twist to the rear axle when needed.

Two transmissions are offered: a six-speed automatic and a seven-speed dual-clutch, both mated to an all-wheel-drive system.

Sprint from 0 to 62 mph takes less than 10 seconds, while top speed sits at 124 mph. These figures make the BX7 a bit more powerful than the Euro-spec, entry-level version of the BMW X3, but I have strong doubts it will be as efficient and dynamic as the Bimmer.

Although the BX7 TS features a sportier interior, the drivetrain is identical to the standard model.

At first only available with a gasoline engine, the BX7 will also feature a hybrid drivetrain in the future. The brand quotes a total output of 401 horsepower, a 55-km (34-mile) all-electric range, and combined consumption of 2.2 liters per 100 km on the European cycle. The hybrid will combine the four-banger with a 13.2-kWh, lithium-ion battery.

An all-electric drivetrain is also on the table, but Borgward has yet to release any details about it. No word on diesel engines yet.

Drivetrain Specifications

Mounting Transverse front
Number of cylinders/arrangement 4, in-line
Valves per cylinder 4
Displacement cc 1981
Bore/stroke mm 82 x 93,8
Rated output 221 HP @ 5,500 RPM
Rated torque 221 LB-FT @ 1,750 – 5,500 RPM
Compression ratio 10:1
Mixture formation Electronically controlled High-pressure direct injection with piezo injectors, turbo charger, intercooler, EGR
Ignition system Fully electronic
Exhaust gas treatment Controlled 3-way catalytic converter

Safety

2016 Borgward BX7 High Resolution Interior
- image 646442

While most vehicles engineered in China fail to meet European safety regulations, the BX7 will be an exception to this rule, for two reasons. First, Chinese companies have made significant progress in that direction. In 2013, the 2013 Qoros 3 sedan became the first Chinese car to receive a five-star safety rating from EuroNCAP. Second, although it will initially go on sale in Asia, the BX7 was also engineered with the European market in mind.

But until the SUV is tested by the EuroNCAP, Borgward says it will feature front airbags for both the driver and passenger, side and curtain side airbags for the second row, standard safety belts for the third-row seats, and child seat anchorage points. The vehicle was also developed with a highly robust passenger compartment and deformable, energy absorbing crash zones front and rear. A few driving aids should also come standard, but more on that when the BX7 goes on sale.

Prices

2016 Borgward BX7 High Resolution Exterior
- image 646443

Pricing information is not yet available, but given the BX7 is slower and less powerful than a German premium crossover, and considering that the Borgward brand doesn’t mean much nowadays, it should be significantly more affordable than the Q5 or X3. A €32,000 (about $36,400) sticker seems likely. The SUV will initially launch in China and other emerging markets during the first half of 2016. European buyers may have to wait until 2017 to get their hands on a Borgward.

Competition

2015 BMW X3

2015 BMW X3 High Resolution Exterior
- image 540939

Arguably one of the most popular choices when it comes to compact premium crossovers, the X3 is available with an array of gasoline and diesel engines in Europe. The X3 xDrive20i, the most affordable model with AWD, comes with 181 horsepower on tap and a €42,150 (about $47,900) sticker if selected with an automatic. The more powerful xDrive28i, using a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, cranks out 242 horses and costs €48,700 (around $55,350) with an automatic in Germany.

Find out more about the BMW X3 here.

2013 Audi Q5

2013 Audi Q5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 451499

The base, gasoline-powered Q5 offered in Germany employs a turbo 2.0-liter four-pot that churns 187 horses. Though it’s less powerful than the BX7, it sprints to 62 mph in only 8.5 seconds and tops out at 130 mph. A more powerful version, this time with a Tiptronic gearbox and rated at 227 horsepower will take you to 62 mph in only 6.9 seconds and up to a top speed of 142 mph. Pricing for these models starts from €39,300 (about $44,670) and €45,800 (around $52,050) respectively. A redesigned version of the Q5 is expected to arrive in 2016.

Read more about the Audi Q5 here.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 634297

Built to replace the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK, the GLC is brand-new for 2015. The 250 4MATIC features a turbo, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder generating 208 horses and 258 pound-feet of twist, which is enough to propel the crossover from 0 to 62 mph in 7.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 138 mph. The engine mates to a 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. Arguably the better looking option here, the GLC 250 4MATIC is also the most expensive entry-level model, retailing from €44,506 (about $50,590).

Find out more about the Mercedes-Benz GLC here.

Conclusion

2016 Borgward BX7 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 646456

For an SUV built by a brand that came out of nowhere (Borgward is pretty obscure outside Germany), the BX7 doesn’t look bad, even with all those styling cues borrowed from other places. Though it’s too early to draw a conclusion, I doubt the BX7 will make a big impact in Western Europe, but it will probably fare better in emerging markets in both Eastern Europe and Asia. And even though a Borgward badge is no match for BMW or Mercedes-Benz, the German-Chinese venture has big plans for the BX7, aiming for a medium-term sales goals of no fewer than 500,000 vehicles per year. If Borgward achieves this objective, I’m sure we’ll see new models, but the question is, will the brand manage to sell 500,000 examples of an obscure model in market packed with premium crossovers?

  • Leave it
    • Exterior design borrows from Audi and Buick
    • Significantly slower than competitors
    • Obscure brand

Press Release

The time-honoured German automobile brand BORGWARD is returning to the world stage. BORGWARD has unveiled two world premieres at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt am Main: the BX7 SUV and the TS version of the BX7. "Our goal is to turn BORGWARD back into the major international automobile manufacturer that it was in its heyday," said Ulrich Walker, CEO of BORGWARD Group AG, in Frankfurt am Main on Tuesday.

2016 Borgward BX7 High Resolution Exterior
- image 646443

Walker said that BORGWARD is scheduled to be launched in Germany and the rest of Europe sometime within the next two years. The company is to introduce its first vehicles to the Chinese and other emerging markets in the first half of 2016. Walker described the current developments on the Chinese market as a process of normalisation. "China remains a growth market," he added. The first BORGWARD plant has already been completed in Beijing.

The market launch in China and further emerging markets will only be the beginning. "Our goal for the medium and long term is to be present not only in China and Europe but in all the other major markets as well - and, in particular, in the emerging economies," said Walker. The entry into new markets and the achievement of corresponding sales volumes will be accompanied by the establishment of new production locations.

In the medium term, BORGWARD is targeting global sales of significantly more than 500,000 vehicles. In addition, the product portfolio is to be continuously expanded over the coming years, with at least two new models presented for market launch every year. Initially, the SUV family of vehicles is to expanded, with other segments to follow later. "The BORGWARD family will be competitive," said Walker. "And our business model is based on sound financial and strategic foundations," he added with reference to the brand’s continuing commitment to the basic values that already applied in the time of company founder Carl F. W. Borgward.

As in the past, BORGWARD stands once again for outstanding engineering and design, and for quality, innovation, sustainability and affordability. "It’s what we call ’accessible premium’," said Walker.

2016 Borgward BX7 High Resolution Interior
- image 646444

Similarly, in terms of design, the aesthetic shapes of the new BORGWARD embody the traditional values of the BORGWARD brand and help create the modern self-confidence of superior vehicles. BORGWARD models also combine the most advanced communication and entertainment systems with an extensive online service. BORGWARD likewise employs the very latest connectivity systems to enhance the driver’s safety and comfort. Outstanding product quality combined with uncompromising reliability and extreme longevity will ensure that upcoming model series become classics of the future.

And, last but not least, sustainability is firmly anchored in BORGWARD’s corporate goals. For example, BORGWARD is in favour of an electric drive train. Initially, BORGWARD is launching the BX 7 PHEV - a plug-in hybrid model that will lead the way in the mid-size SUV segment, by offering, for example, excellent driving performance and competitive electric ranges.

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