There is a generation of car owners that simply don’t want to own the latest Mercedes, Audi or other big automotive brand. For those types who want something distinctive, the revival of the Borgward label by Chinese truck maker Foton might be of interest. Arriving in the UAE soon courtesy of a distribution deal with Union Motors, the historic German name could provide something a little different, certainly in the branding department.
Borgward was founded almost a century ago, and produced cars into the sixties with a focus on style and sporting excellence, along with a truck line, which is probably where the Chinese interest comes in. Famed for its Hansa and Isabella coupe models, the revived company was launched by a grandson of the founder and has an SUV model already for sale in China that will be the focus of sales in the UAE.
The Borgward range
The Borgward BX7 SUV crossover looks pretty much like most European SUV models, featuring all-wheel drive, hybrid power, driver safety assistance and seven luxury seats, but with the distinctive Borgward badge on the front. A base model features a 2.0-litre engine producing 221 horsepower. For variety, there’s the Touring Sports model and a smaller version, the BX5, starting off with a 4-cylinder turbo engine, could be on the market next year. Importantly, while lots of Chinese-built cars do not meet European and global safety standards, the Borgward range is designed to meet these, making it a more likely choice for the safety conscious.
Of more interest, and recently shown off at the Shanghai Auto Show, is an all-electric BXi7, featuring the company’s e-PROPULSION electric drive platform, offering a range of around 500 kilometres with the ability to reach 80% of charge capacity within half an hour at the growing number of fast-charging stations in the region.
With an international design team at the helm of Borgward’s studio, the company could soon be making inroads into sales of the traditional SUV players. It is partnering with a number of European component firms to produce innovations in seating design, audio integration and other areas that should help it stand out in the crowded market.