Όπως μας είχε προϊδεάσει πριν ένα μήνα, η αναγέννηση της Borgward έχει πρακτικά ξεκινήσει. Έτσι, το BX7, που έφερε στην έκθεση της Φρανκφούρτης πριν έξι μήνες, σήμερα μας παρουσιάζει δύο νέα concepts για την ακμάζουσα SUV κατηγορία.
Τα ονομάζει Projekt BX6 TS και the BX5, και όπως συμβαίνει στη πλειοψηφία των περιπτώσεων, οι μικρότεροι αριθμοί σημαίνουν ότι τοποθετούνται κάτω από το μεγάλο BX7. Η εταιρία περιγράφει το κόκκινο BX5 ως ένα πρωτότυπο που πλησιάζει την φάση παραγωγής, καθώς διαθέτει τεχνολογία μαζικής παραγωγής. Διαθέτει ένα plug-in-hybrid κινητήριο σύνολο, με την συνολική του απόδοση να αγγίζει τα 258 άλογα. Σχεδιαστικά, ενώ δανείζεται αρκετά μέρη από το μεγαλύτερο BX7, έχει πιο δυναμικά χαρακτηριστικά, με έντονα coupe τελείωμα στο πίσω μέρος. Το μήκος του φτάνει τα 4.483 χλστ., το πλάτος του τα 1.876 χλστ. και το ύψος του τα 1.677 χλστ., κάτι που σημαίνει ότι τοποθετείται στη κατηγορία των Mazda’s CX-5, Ford Kuga, Porsche Macan, Audi Q5 κλπ.
Από την άλλη, το Projekt BX6 (ασημί) αποτελεί την εντυπωσιακά sport έκδοση της εταιρίας, με ακόμα πιο κεκλιμένη οροφή, τονίζοντας τον coupe σχεδιασμό του. Έχει μήκος 4.51 μέτρα και δείχνει τη φιλοσοφία της εταιρίας για ένα μοντέλο με έντονα χαρακτηριστικά sport οδήγησης και τις υψηλές επιδόσεις. Γι’αυτές ευθύνεται το plug-in hybrid σύστημα, με τον κινητήρα εσωτερικής καύσης να αποδίδει 272 άλογα και την συνολική απόδοση που φτάνει σε όλους τους τροχούς να είναι 422 άλογα.
One is called the Borgward BX5 and combines passion with pragmatism to inject a fresh breeze into the market segment for compact SUVs—a segment that is steadily becoming the most popular and successful sector in the whole of the automobile market. The other is a show car that we call the Borgward BX6 TS. With its strikingly dynamic looks and distinctive, coupé-like lines, this SUV sport saloon will spearhead our assault on the established circle of SUV coupés.
The Borgward BX5 is a prototype approaching the series-production stage. Measuring 4.48 metres in length and with a wheelbase of 2.68 metres, it features equipment based largely on mass-production technology and a plug-in hybrid (PIH) drive system combined with all-wheel drive. It embodies classic SUV qualities such as versatility, spaciousness, comfort and off-road capability, combining these with the outstandingly low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of a pioneering plug-in hybrid (PIH) drive concept. This is in line with the company’s strategy of pushing ahead with the electrification of the powertrain. All production series for European launch will include a model with either a PIH or a purely electric drive system that delivers a range of 250 kilometres with minimized recharging times.
At the other end of the spectrum is the 4.51-metre-long Borgward BX6 TS, with its coupé-like roof line. As a PROJEKT vehicle—the title to be given to all future show cars from Borgward—it underscores the capabilities of the Borgward SUV range in terms of muscular performance and agile and dynamic handling. Providing the requisite power is an extremely sporty, performance-enhanced, plug-in hybrid drive system that marries the raw horsepower of a turbocharged 200 kW (272 hp) four-cylinder engine to the beefy torque of an electric motor. Combined with the same electronic AWD system as fitted in the Borgward BX5, this delivers a highly impressive driving performance coupled with remarkably good fuel economy. What’s more, excellent road holding is also guaranteed even when the BX6 TS is driven hard. Thanks to a package that combines fully variable and electronically controlled all-wheel drive with a sport chassis complete with amplitude-dependent shock absorbers, a lavishly dimensioned sports braking system, highly responsive and direct electric power steering and the very latest vehicle-dynamics control systems set up for agile handling, the BX6 TS delivers a classic coupé-like driving experience offering maximum enjoyment coupled with reassuring road stability.
Two powerful characters with a shared design philosophy
Despite the manifest character differences between the two models, both share the homogeneous Borgward design philosophy based on the guiding principle of MODERN TRADITION. The high aspirations of the individual design teams under the leadership of Roland Sternmann, Borgward Global Executive Design Director, are embodied in the five core values of this philosophy: each of the vehicles bearing the celebrated diamond badge is dynamic, elegant, precisely engineered, authentic and upmarket. This not only produces automobiles with a commanding presence but also creates a powerful brand identity. The focal point, or epicentre, of the brand’s global design efforts is to be found in the Borgward Design Center (BDC), which is located in Renningen, near company headquarters in Stuttgart. It is here that a committed team of designers rigorously apply the brand’s guiding principle of MODERN TRADITION so as to guarantee the supreme design quality and autonomy of this young but already celebrated brand.
The multitalented Borgward BX5, which is nearing the series-production stage, and the Borgward BX6 TS show car, with its bold and sporty appearance, will both provide the brand with renewed momentum. Moreover, they will accomplish this in a double sense, as Roland Sternmann explains: “Our design DNA, as first presented in the Borgward BX7, is undergoing continuous evolution in a process designed to refine our design vocabulary and further strengthen our brand identity. This means that, on the one hand, we preserve typical design elements such our octagonal radiator grille with its legendary diamond badge or our distinctive wing lines; And, on the other, we will give each model series individual touches that endow it with its own character.”
Authentic design vocabulary and genuine performance
Up-market elegance, dynamic performance and commanding presence—these are the core values of a design philosophy embracing modern tradition, a philosophy also embodied by the Borgward BX5 and BX6 TS. As with all our new model series, neither of the two SUVs on show today are a result of retro design or latter-day copies of classic Borgward models such as the Arabella or Isabella. Indeed, as Benjamin Nawka, Borgward Chief Designer, explains, there would be no sense in such a design philosophy, anyway: “Modern SUVs don’t use the vehicle technology of the 1950s. Rigid axles, leaf springs and drum brakes should be kept, along with the rest of the design from back then, in their proper historical context.” In line with this principle, the BDC team has decoded the original design DNA of Borgward and transformed it for today’s times. Our engineers employ exactly the same approach to product design, in that they have analysed the classic qualities of off-road vehicles and adapted them to today’s technological requirements. “Just like the classic off-road vehicles from Borgward, our SUVs are tough, robust, durable and reliable under any conditions—and they combine all these properties with modern vehicle attributes such as the very highest active and passive safety, a responsible use of resources, great comfort and innovative infotainment!” says Philip Schmidt, Chief Executive Engineer R & D, describing the combination of classic and modern qualities in terms of automotive technology.
The design in detail: the OCTAGON radiator grille and distinctive wing lines
With their distinctive OCTAGON radiator grille and centrally mounted, three-dimensional, diamond-shaped Borgward badge, the multitalented BX5 and the BX6 TS show car both share the characteristic Borgward front, although interpreted by each in an individual way. With its matte-grey slats, the radiator grille of the BX5 conforms more to a classic, country-style SUV look, whereas the diamond-pattern chrome lattice of the BX6 TS radiator grille underscores the show car’s more sporty, dynamic design. The OCTAGON grille is enclosed by two prominent headlights, which border on the grille’s frame and reiterate its distinctive design, thereby lending the radiator added depth.
The exhilaratingly dynamic wing lines draw on an interpretation of a host of wing shapes, ranging from the rounded contours of the classic biplane wing to the angular lines of a modern jet plane. In fact, the wing lines of our new models appear even more dynamic and elegant than those of the BX7 — a result that fully conforms to our design teams’ strategy of continuously evolving both vehicle technology and vehicle design as a whole. The following applies to the wing lines of the BX5 and the BX6 TS:
- Wing lines accentuate the muscular, masculine shoulders and give the body sides an extremely dynamic profile. The rear flank of the PROJEKT BX 6 TS boasts the broadest shoulders of any vehicle in the entire market segment. As a result, this SUV sports saloon sits on the road like a muscular sports car.
- Both vehicles have wing trim mounted in the lower part of the front section. In accordance with the TS equipment level, the trim for the BX6 is of fine-grained brushed aluminium. This trim runs all the way round to the rear bumper.
Side view: clear differences in silhouette
The view from the side reveals just how different these two SUVs are in reality. Below the beltline, the picture is largely the same—apart from the significantly larger, 20-inch wheels with 245/45 R 20 tyres and the hallmark TS aluminium sill trim of the BX6. Yet there is a marked difference in the greenhouse of the two vehicles, both of which feature the characteristic Borgward three-window-plus-hatch configuration. This is particularly evident in the roof silhouette. The near-series Borgward BX5 has a dynamic, coupé-like profile, which in combination with its elegant greenhouse creates an interesting contrast to the athletic contours of the bodywork and the 19-inch wheels with 235/55 R 19 tyres. Yet none of the functionality of a SUV is sacrificed. The BX5 offers easy access both front and rear, has a high seating position for driver and front passenger with excellent road traffic visibility, boasts plenty of headroom and a generous amount of space for rear passengers, and provides a variable cargo volume of 500-1,200 litres complete with a comfortably low loading sill.
Classic off-road characteristics such as generous ground clearance, short body overhangs and a high beltline all enhance the SUV credentials of the multitalented AWD Borgward BX5 and signify its ability to master many different types of terrain.
The sportier BX6 TS wears such off-road insignia in a much more discreet fashion. Accordingly, this show car is likely to feel more at home on rough roads and rally tracks than in genuine off-road conditions and is the perfect conveyance for a stylish ride to an evening at the theatre. In line with its coupé credentials, the vehicle’s proportions are much more dynamic than those of its stablemate. The low roof line and slender greenhouse, on the one hand, and its muscular body and broad shoulders, on the other, create an electrifying contrast that suggests an imaginary thrust even when the vehicle is stationary. Instead of the uniformly sweeping roof line characteristic of this segment, Borgward designers have opted for a much more interesting and attractive solution in the form of a supporting structure with three merging wing lines. The A-pillar, upper roof edge and D-pillar each form a different contour, As a result, the complete superstructure above the beltline has an even more distinctive and individual character. A pleasant consequence of this design approach is a host of practical advantages that set this SUV sport saloon apart from the rest of the competition. These include comfortable access for passengers both front and rear—by no means self-evident for a vehicle of this market segment—a generous amount of space and ample headroom for all occupants, and excellent visibility outside for rear passengers. This light and airy feeling is also accentuated by a large glass roof.
View from the back: a harmonious transition to the rear
With its supremely self-assured chrome Borgward logo mounted between three-dimensional LED rear light clusters, the rear design of both the Borgward BX5 and the Borgward BX6 TS emphasizes the horizontal orientation and, in combination with the broad track, announces firm road holding combined with excellent driving stability and superb lateral dynamics. The tapering greenhouse enhances aerodynamics and also emphasizes the powerful shoulders of both vehicles—not only the multitalented Borgward BX5 but also, and most particularly, the BX6 TS. This, however, is where similarities between the two models end. From here onwards, they follow an individual line.
With its sculpted, matte-grey bumpers, the Borgward BX5 emanates significantly more off-road esprit. As with the front, its characteristically high ground clearance and large angle of departure at the rear signalize its ability to master all kinds of off-road terrain. The more steeply angled rear window, upper roof spoiler and the line of the roof rails are also typical of the pragmatic but nonetheless dynamic and elegant design of the BX5.
The flowing rear of the BX6 TS has a much sportier feel and emanates a typical coupé charm. The roof merges almost seamlessly into the rear window. Beneath is the suggestion of a fastback-cum-notchback, which in fact houses an extendable ACTIVE SPOILER to increase downward pressure when the vehicle is driven hard or at high speeds. This spoiler is extended either manually or—depending on the vehicle-dynamics control systems’ control strategy—automatically. Painted the same colour as the rest of the body, the rear bumper of the TS incorporates a dual-flow exhaust system complete with square outlets, and is finished off below with aluminium trim. The presence of a diffuser emphasizes the sporty, on-road nature of the BX6 TS.
Borgward BX6 TS: legendary equipment line for sporty, luxurious top model
Featuring bumpers with slits at the side that incorporate daytime running lights at the front and fog lamps at the rear plus trim of brushed aluminium, the BX6 TS is unmistakeably a representative of the luxurious Touring Sport equipment line. As in the 1950s, the TS line will form an integral part of the Borgward equipment range. The hallmark insignia of a TS model include not only the aforementioned bumpers with slits at the side, the diamond-pattern chrome lattice of the OCTAGON radiator grille and, as its centrepiece a chrome diamond Borgward badge with red inlays, but also specially designed alloy wheels, bumpers painted in the vehicle body colour and decorative trim in brushed aluminium. The bumpers, door sills, window mountings, door handles and wing mirrors all boast decorative elements in matte aluminium. The rear hatch is adorned with the TS logo in a chrome-red combination.
The Borgward BX5 and BX6 TS: plug-in hybrid technology in different specifications
Equipped with the very latest in plug-in hybrid technology, both the BX5 and the BX6 TS deliver an outstanding performance combined with extremely low fuel consumption and emissions. The powertrain of the multitalented BX5 is largely the same as that installed in the larger BX7, which celebrated its world premiere at last year’s IAA International Motor Show. It comprises a turbocharged, direct-injection, 1.4-litre, four-cylinder engine delivering 105kW (143 hp) together with an 85 kW (115 hp) electric motor. The range under electric power is 55 kilometres.
The four-cylinder engine drives the front axle via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Powering the rear axle is an electric motor with integrated kinetic energy recovery system (KERS), linked to the front drive unit via a sophisticated control system. This intelligent AWD system applies torque to the electric rear axle by means of a “virtual drive shaft”, whenever the demands of energy efficiency, handling dynamics or driving safety require. At the same time, during deceleration or braking, the system regenerates kinetic energy, with which to recharge the batteries.
The Borgward BX6 TS is a completely different character. This model showcases the performance potential of the Borgward concept. Here, too, developers have opted for a turbocharged, direct-injection, four-cylinder engine—this time, however, with 2.0-litre capacity and power of 200 kW (240 hp). This, in turn, is coupled with a performance-enhanced electric motor delivering 110 kW (150 hp). If required, the combined muscle of these two power packs will deliver vigorous acceleration and propel the BX6 TS to the performance level of a highly tuned sports car. On the other hand, it is also perfectly capable of meeting the demands of a modest fuel economy when driven in the E-Cruising mode.
In fact, the plug-in hybrid features a choice of eight different driving modes. These are activated either automatically or manually, via the push/turn controller on the central console, and are displayed as activated in the media touchscreen and cockpit display. In addition to standard plug-in hybrid driving modes such as energy recuperation, pure electrical power and boost, the multitalented Borgward BX 5 also features an off-road program to increase performance on challenging terrain.
Intelligent driving strategies in combination with GPS navigation, online services and individual driving style enable a further increase in efficiency. This ensures that the energy from the lithium ion battery is converted into a maximum driving range.
PROTECT: an all-round intelligent safety concept
PROTECT, an all-round intelligent occupant-safety concept, guarantees optimum protection for driver and passengers in the Borgward BX5 near-series prototype. Pioneering vehicle-dynamics and driver-assistance systems have a preventive function and can help avoid collisions. If, however, the worst comes to the worst, passive restraint systems and a highly stable passenger compartment with precisely defined deformation zones provide reliable protection and can significantly moderate the consequences of an accident for vehicle occupants. As such, the Borgward BX5 near-series prototype fulfils the essential conditions for passing all the international crash tests with distinction.
At the same time, critical body segments are reinforced with high-strength, ultra high-strength or hot-formed steel. Similarly, a number of load paths distribute impact energy in the event of a frontal, side or rear collision, and in this manner ensure a highly even deceleration, with the progression of which passive safety systems are precisely coordinated. Such passive safety systems include two-phase hybrid airbags for driver and front passenger; side airbags for driver, front passenger and rear passengers; and window bags both front and rear.
Yet to ensure that these passive safety systems remain inactive as much as possible, the PROTECT safety concept in the Borgward BX5 features numerous driver-assistance systems that are designed to prevent accidents. These include a collision assistant with active brake intervention, city braking assistant (including pedestrian detection at speeds of up to 70 km/h), a lane-departure warning assistant, and a proximity-control system for a constantly safe distance to vehicles ahead at speeds of up to 200 km/h. At the same time, systems such as a 360° panoramic camera make handling the Borgward SUV even easier in complex situations and help to prevent minor accidents.
Multiple Interaction: networked infotainment
Intuitive operability, the very latest in infotainment, full network connectivity with Internet access, and an extensive online service—all these are integral elements of the Borgward brand philosophy. Borgward’s Multiple Interaction system, which was unveiled last year in the Borgward BX7, is highly versatile.
Both Android and Apple smartphones can be fully connected to the vehicle via this system. This gives drivers full access to all smartphone functions. This includes accessing contact lists, playing music, using various apps, having text messages read aloud, and using the large central touchscreen to view images and videos stored on a mobile phone. Using the on-board WiFi hotspot, vehicle occupants can also access the Internet via devices such as smartphones, tablets or netbooks, and enjoy rapid and stable data transfer via the powerful roof antenna.
In addition, there are various connect buttons installed in the roof, just in front of the rear-view mirror. The Service button establishes telephone contact to “ISABELLA”, a service agent who is only too happy to help with, for example, hotel bookings, theatre tickets, a restaurant reservation or directions to the next free parking space with a route sent directly to the car’s navigation system. The SOS button connects directly to a service employee, who will immediately organise appropriate emergency assistance. Specially trained service personnel will also contact the driver and inquire after the wellbeing of vehicle occupants in the event that an airbag or seatbelt tensioner is activated, for example. Appropriate action is then taken in line with the response, and, if necessary, an ambulance sent to the scene of the accident.
In addition, smartphone apps for Apple and Android enable an authorised user to remotely access certain vehicle data and functions at any time. These include fuel level, tyre pressure, oil level and the next service date.
Similarly, the vehicle can be located via smartphone and opened or locked.
Directions to the next theatre or sports arena can be sent directly to the vehicle’s navigation system via smartphone and are automatically activated as soon as the ignition is switched on. In the event of vehicle theft, tracking and vehicle-immobiliser functions assist with recovery.