A German brand of the past returns to the spotlight; we’re talking about Borgward, which unveiled the BX7 SUV in near-production status at Frankfurt Motor Show. More than half a century (54 years, to be precise), since the last time they were around, the company displayed two different versions of their new model, the BX7 and the sportier BX7 TS. The new SUV, measuring 4.7m in length, offers seating for up to seven occupants and has a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-litre T-GDI petrol engine under its bonnet, producing 224PS (220hp) at 5500rpm and 300Nm (221 lb ft) of torque between 1750 and 5500rpm.
Power is sent either through a six-speed automatic gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch unit to all four wheels, with the all-wheel drive being electronically controlled via an electric actuator, featuring a 90/10 torque split between the front and rear axles under normal conditions, sending more power to the rear axle even ‘before wheelspin occurs’.
Borgward claims that the BX7 T-GDI can sprint to 100km/h from naught (0-62mph) in less than 10 seconds, with a top speed of more than 200km/h (124mph).
The TS version of the BX7 stands for Touring Sports and represents a sportier version of the regular model as well as the top of the range. Exterior differences include the diamond-patterned front grille, a front badge detailed in red, more aggressive bumpers all-around and side skirts, an integrated roof spoiler, a set of larger alloy wheels housing bigger, six-piston brake calipers at the front and a special matte paint finish.
The cabin of the BX7 TS is trimmed in special nappa leather with diamond-shaped stitching, a flat-bottom steering wheel and brushed aluminum inserts. There is also a 12.3-inch infotainment system with what Borgward calls ‘Multiple Interaction’ interface, allowing complete connectivity for Apple and Android devices and a WiFi hotspot function. There is also the option of configuring the BX-7 with five, six and seven seats.
The Chinese-backed company also announced that a plug-in hybrid version of the BX7 is on its way. With a total output of 401hp, the Borgward BX7 PHEV will offer a 55km (34 miles) pure electric range and a combined NEDC fuel consumption of just 2.26l/100km (125mpg UK). The hybrid system combines the turbocharged 220hp 2.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and a 13.2kWh lithium-ion battery which takes around 30 minutes to be fully charged. The drivetrain will be coordinated by a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.
The reborn car-maker who will initially launch the BX7 in China and other emerging markets during the first half of 2016, announced its plans of returning in the European market ‘sometime within the next two years’. The company’s first plant is about to be completed in China, with Borgward’s medium-term sales goal set at more than 500,000 vehicles per year.