Borgward brand launched in GCC

Posted on Jul 9, 2017 by

Bahrain, Kuwait, and the UAE welcome resurrected German brand Borgward and its new line of Chinese-financed SUVs…

Borgward

The Borgward BX7 is the company’s flagship model

An automotive brand that’s been dead since 1961 still inspires passion among niche European car collectors even though most have never heard of the name Borgward… Now the name Borgward will be introduced in the Middle East too, as the German carmaker appoints its exclusive distributors for Bahrain, Kuwait, and the UAE.

Borgward has recognised the Middle East as a core market for its international car business, based on the region’s fondness of distinctive SUVs. The company will start sales in the Gulf (Awadi Motors in Bahrain; Al-Zayani Trading in Kuwait; Union Motors in the UAE) of its BX5 and BX7 SUV models even though its heritage is steeped in pretty coupés and innovative saloons.

Borgward

The entry-level BX5 crossover comes with a 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine

Founded in 1929, Bremen-based Borgward was a premium brand competing for German customers with the likes of Wanderer, and in the post-war period with BMW. However the innovative company synonymous with technology like air suspension and automatic transmissions, couldn’t survive against bigger rivals and filed for bankruptcy in 1961, a case that was handled by one Johannes Semler who also happened to be the chairman of Borgward’s biggest rival, BMW… The conspiracy is still strong today. 

In total Borgward produced one million cars during its 32 active years, and achieved a smidgen of success in motor sport including participation at the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans, an attempt at Mexico’s legendary Carrera Panamericana, and a third place in the grueling Nürburgring 1000km finishing behind a Ferrari and a Jaguar no less.

Borgward

The reborn Borgward brand will produce its SUVs in China, with the BX5 kicking off the range, a crossover sized between something like an Audi Q3 and Q5. The flagship Borgward BX7 sits longer than a Q5 on the other hand, but features a slightly shorter wheelbase than its Ingolstadt rival. Both cars feature the brand’s signature octagon grille with Borgward’s diamond-shaped logo brought back to life taking centre stage. It comes with diamond quilting inside, and a 12.3-inch touchscreen.

Borgward’s engine line-up includes a 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 190 horsepower and 280Nm of torque, plus a bigger 2.0-litre for the BX7 rated at 221 horsepower and 300Nm. The company plans to introduce further options including a 1.4-litre turbo hybrid model with a system total of over 250 horsepower and 450Nm of torque.

GCC prices haven’t been announced yet, but in China the base Borgward BX5 with the 1.8-litre engine starts from around $22,000 (AED81,000)

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