The modern interpretation of this classic nameplate features a posh shape with an electric powertrain.
German automaker Borgward closed its doors in 1961, but returned to the scene in 2015 thanks to some elbow grease and healthy investments from Chinese manufacturers. The Stuttgart-based company launched the BX7 sport-utility vehicle in China last year, followed by the compact BX5 crossover earlier this year. With the reboot successful in Chinese markets, the automaker has plans to reenter the European arena and to help with that, Borgward has offered up the striking Isabella Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
"The Isabella Concept is a modern interpretation of the legendary and beautiful Borgward Isabella," said Anders Warming, member of the board of management and chief design officer of Borgward Group AG. “The carefully coordinated body shape with its smooth transitions creates a perfect balance between rounded organic shapes and precise lines. Our aim was to create stylistic synergies between beauty and technology.”
Back in the 1950s, the Isabella was Borgward’s most popular model. The modern take on this classic nameplate is all electric, with an exterior shape that shows a bit of influence from the original Isabella 2+2 coupe. The automaker calls this design “impression of flow,” but we’ll just call it interesting with its four-door coupe design featuring powered doors that slide forward and backward. The pointed nose foregoes a conventional grille due to its electric power, while the fastback rear clearly draws inspiration from its 1950’s counterpart.
The interior takes a minimalist approach, with a glass cockpit featuring digital displays and touch screen controls for pretty much everything, save for steering, throttle, and brake. As for power, the automaker is shy on revealing information except to say this is a vehicle for the future, and the future is electric. Borgward is also shy on whether or not the Isabella Concept will eventually lead to a production version. We suspect that will depend on the brand’s success outside of Chinese markets.
We will say this – the Isabella Concept is something of a looker. Time will tell if the public responds.
Gallery: Borgward Isabella Concept
Borgward Enters German Market This Year
FRANKFURT, Germany, September 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
- Revenues rise above €1.5 billion within one year
- Nearly 70,000 vehicle orders received in China
- Partnership with Sixt Neuwagen
- World premiere of the ISABELLA Concept at the IAA motor show
The Stuttgart-based automaker Borgward plans to enter the German market by the end of the year. "We are delighted that, following our successful start in China and other countries, we can now enter the German market," said Ulrich Walker, CEO of Borgward Group AG, at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt on Tuesday. The first units of the Borgward BX7 TS Limited Edition are expected to be delivered to customers in the fourth quarter.
The limited Borgward BX7 TS edition and, later, the BX7 as well as the BX5 and the BX6 will initially be introduced in Europe with gasoline-powered engines. Later on, further models which are under development will follow. "Due to the constant customer demand and in order to increase the visibility of our brand and its products, we have decided to initially enter the market with a gasoline-powered version of the BX7 and the BX5," Walker said. "However, it remains our goal to mainly sell electric vehicles once production commences in Bremen." At the IAA two years ago, Borgward announced that it would be entering the German market within the next two years. "We keep our promises," Walker added.
The Stuttgart based Group strikes out also for an innovative direction in terms of sales and services. Borgward and A.T.U. are currently checking a concept for an innovative service cooperation. Furthermore, Sixt Neuwagen, Germany`s leading platform for the online-distribution of new cars, will be the first online distributor of Borgward in Germany. "The partnership with Sixt Neuwagen corresponds to our idea of modern distribution that focus on customer service and customer satisfaction," said Tom Anliker, Group Vice President Marketing, Sales & Services of Borgward Group AG.
The Stuttgart-based automaker has more than 5,000 employees. It has achieved its business targets to date, including revenues of over €1.5 billion within the past twelve
months. According to Walker, this result is completely in line with expectations. Moreover, Borgward plans to make a profit over the medium term. "We are doing well in spite of the high start-up costs for, among other things, the development of new models and the expansion of our facility in China." The company has received nearly 70,000 vehicle orders in China since it launched the Borgward BX7 and BX5 in the country. Borgward expects to get a further boost from its market entry in the Middle East, South America, and Europe as well as from the launch of new models such as the BX6 sports coupe and variants of the BX7 and the BX5.
At the IAA, Borgward also presented its ISABELLA Concept. "The ISABELLA Concept is a modern interpretation of the legendary and beautiful Borgward ISABELLA," said Anders Warming, Member of the Board of Management and Chief Design Officer of Borgward Group AG. Among the outstanding features of the Borgward ISABELLA Concept are its fascinating design, its revolutionary interior and operating concept, its digital connectivity, and the electrification of the vehicle's drive train.
However, the ISABELLA Concept is more than just a vision of a future vehicle concept. The reincarnation of the legendary ISABELLA from the 1950s also embodies the future focus of the entire Borgward company with regard to its design DNA and drive technology. The design idiom of the four-door, four-seat concept coupe is based on the Borgward design principle "Impression of Flow," which will be valid for all vehicles in the future. Said Warming, "The carefully coordinated body shape with its smooth transitions creates a perfect balance between rounded organic shapes and precise lines. Our aim was to create stylistic synergies between beauty and technology."
The Borgward ISABELLA Concept impresses with its perfect dimensions (5.00 meters long, 1.40 meters high, and 1.92 meters wide) and the beauty of its flowing three-dimensional and sculptural shapes, which are smoothly connected to technical and functional elements such as the cooling air inlets and the aerodynamic components. This is done, however, without any aggressive undertone. Warming is convinced that such an undertone would be unacceptable in an all-electric coupe: "Aerodynamic excellence and efficiency play a key role in this vehicle and define its flowing shapes," he said. "We are convinced that a vehicle body through and around which air flows in a perfect way must radiate accessibility, appeal, and a commanding presence. This is fully in line with the 'Impression of Flow'-our Borgward design principle for the electric mobility of the future."