Borgward BX7 Concept
With the launch of its BX7, the time-honoured German automobile brand Borgward is celebrating a remarkable comeback. This mid-size SUV prototype, which is cl...More »
Borgward BX7 Concept
With the launch of its BX7, the time-honoured German automobile brand Borgward is celebrating a remarkable comeback. This mid-size SUV prototype, which is close to series production, will be the first vehicle since the 1960s to wear the legendary diamond-shaped Borgward badge. This new model embodies the design philosophy of the young yet familiar Borgward brand - a philosophy which will go on to inspire all of the company's future model series. "Modern tradition" is at the heart of the design philosophy that will help drive forward the development of this brand. As Executive Design Adviser Einar J. Hareide explains, the Borgward design philosophy isn't about retro styling: "The styling of our new series is not based on the design of classic models such as the Isabella. What we do instead is to draw inspiration from these iconic vehicles, decode the original design DNA of the Borgward brand, and then transplant this into the modern age." For the design team, the history of Borgward serves less as a mandate for a specific design than as the basis for transforming the ideals of the company's legendary founder Carl F. W. Borgward. Alongside his expertise in creating ingenious technical solutions, Borgward also possessed a highly refined sense for superb design - as exemplified by models such as the Isabella series.
Elegance, sporty dynamism and commanding presence - these are the qualities of today's Borgward automobiles. The design focuses on the vehicle's hallmark OCTAGON-shaped radiator grille and its characteristic wing design, which invokes a host of different wing shapes, ranging from the rounded contours of the classic biplane wing to the angular lines of a modern jet plane. As Roland Sternmann, Global Executive Design Director at Borgward, explains, nature was another rich source of inspiration: "We borrowed the wing design for the new Borgward BX7 directly from the world's dynamic nature. Just like a bird of prey, dragonfly or ray, the new SUV offers a completely individual interpretation of the wing shape and is therefore unmistakeable." Typical off-roader features such as generous ground clearance, truncated body overhang and a high beltline all reinforce its classic SUV credentials and signals that the all-wheel-drive Borgward BX7 has the performance and capabilities to master all types of terrain.
Striking front end with OCTAGON-shaped radiator grille and the diamond Borgward badge
One look suffices to confirm the premium-quality styling of the Borgward BX7. With its distinctive front end, complete with hallmark OCTAGON radiator grille, this new SUV has a unique and unmistakeable presence. Diamond-shaped chrome elements within the radiator grille reinforce the three-dimensional, diamond-shaped Borgward badge mounted in the centre. Diamond-shaped air inlets, painted glossy black and positioned beneath the OCTAGON grille, continue the design theme and underscore its continuity with the history of the Borgward brand - as far back as 1949, the legendary diamond badge adorned the vehicles manufactured in the former company plant in Bremen.
The OCTAGON grille is flanked by two prominent headlamps, each adjoining the frame of the grille, where they take on its distinctive shape. This gives the OCTAGON grille added depth, which in turn endows the Borgward BX7 with an even more dynamic appearance, even when stationary. The imposing headlamps are separated into functional elements by a wing-shaped divider: The upper section houses dynamic xenon dipped-beam and HID main-beam lamps, while below the daytime running lights and turn-signal indicators reprise the brand's hallmark diamond shape. Positioned one above the other, the two rows of optical waveguides have a diamond-shaped profile and are back-lit by LEDs. Fog lamps are discreetly mounted in the outer air inlets of the front bumper, which is painted in the vehicle body colour. The upper contour of the radiator grille is continued by the concave bonnet and extended, by way of a broadening wing line, all the way back to the cowl beneath the windscreen.
Side view dominated by wing shapes
A long wheelbase and truncated front and rear body overhang serve as the basis for a sporty profile. Dynamism that is almost dramatic is generated by the contrast between the elongated, coupé-like greenhouse of the Borgward BX7 and the taut, vigorous body surfaces beneath the beltline. Muscular and broadly masculine shoulders, in combination with characteristic wing lines, accentuate the energetic appearance of the vehicle's flanks and underscore the sporty and extravagant presence already communicated by the front end. Above the sills, the elongated wing profile - the "hawk line" - boosts the imaginary thrust that the Borgward BX7 emanates even while stationary. Sternmann condenses this essential aspect of the design philosophy in his observation that: "Our SUV could get fined for speeding while parked."
A discreet contour edge stretching from the front wing, via the A-pillar and roof frame, all the way to the foot of the D-pillar subtly accentuates the silhouette of the Borgward SUV and heightens the appealing interplay between the greenhouse and bodywork. Integrated in the outer roof frame of the BX7 TS are roof rails of brushed aluminium that create a formal unity with the floating wing of the roof spoiler. It is this elegant and functional combination that makes the vehicle's side view so unique. No other model in this class features such a high-class solution in this area. This attractive ensemble is completed by a large and generously opening glass sunroof that fits flush into the roof panel and extends from the area above the front seats to the middle row of seats.
This harmonious overall design is also reinforced by the narrow and precisely aligned gaps between body parts - e.g., between the wings and the doors - which help show off the characteristic Borgward wing lines to their best advantage. Positioned flush within the wheel arches - which have cladding in the vehicle body colour - are 21-inch wheels fitted with 255/40 R 21 tyres, which further enhance the dynamic stance of the new Borgward SUV.
View from the back: a harmonious transition to the rear
At the rear, the commanding chrome Borgward script is mounted between three-dimensional rear-light units, which consist partly of LEDs. The rear of the Borgward SUV has a horizontal alignment and, in combination with the vehicle's broad wheel track, signalises its firm road holding capabilities together with excellent driving stability and superb lateral dynamics. The tapering greenhouse not only enhances the vehicle's aerodynamic properties but also underscores its powerful shoulders and thus adds to its formidable presence. The upper part of the roof area is seamlessly connected to the rear body and culminates in a streamlined rear spoiler, which is positioned above the rear window and connected to the roof rails, as described above. The rear bumper is painted in the vehicle body colour and features a dual-flow exhaust system complete with square, chrome-edged outlets. As at the front, the vehicle rear features the high ground clearance and steep angle of approach characteristic of all true SUVs and therefore boasts the agility to master all kinds of off-road terrain.
The front, rear and side of the vehicle form a seamless whole and elevate advanced premium SUV design to a new level. Therefore, when asked about the most attractive feature of the Borgward BX7 TS, Sternmann prefers to emphasise its virtues as a whole: "Whichever way you look at it, our SUV is an exceptionally coherent piece of work in which the front, rear and side of the vehicle all harmonize and complement one another. That's why, unlike other manufacturers, we don't want to talk about its most attractive feature. Instead, that's for the customer to decide. But then again, the customer will be spoilt for choice!"
The Borgward BX7 TS: a sporty tradition
As far back as the 1950s, especially sporty models from Borgward were all endowed with the initials "TS" (Touring Sports). With a conscious gesture towards this proud legacy, this tradition will live on in the resurgent premium carmaker's new models such as the BX7 TS. The hallmark insignia of a TS model include not only the chrome diamonds that make up the OCTAGON grille and, as its centrepiece, the chrome diamond Borgward badge with red inlays, but also specially designed light alloy wheels, bumpers, sill trim, cladding in the vehicle body in a special titanic colour and decorative trim in brushed aluminium. The TS logo in chrome and red adorns the front wings, the rear hatch, the brake calipers of the six-piston fixed-caliper brakes at the front, and the brake assembly at the rear.
The front and rear bumpers, door sills, greenhouse edging, door handles, exterior mirrors and aerodynamic roof rails with integrated roof spoiler all boast decorative elements in elegant, matt aluminium. The front bumper features large air inlets with perfectly integrated fog lamps. The rear bumper incorporates lateral slits neatly housing the rear fog lamps and reflectors.
At night, too, all the BX7 models are an unmistakeable presence. Illuminated diamond shapes in the headlamps and three-dimensional, diamond-like rear lights together create the brand's hallmark lighting design both front and back. A completely new feature - and exclusively reserved for the TS - are side-marker light strips in the rear-door sill and side wings of the rear bumper. These narrow red LED light strips not only add an extra visual enhancement to the sides of the SUV at night, but also increase safety by making the vehicle more visible to crossing traffic.
In addition to the sporty top-of-the-range Borgward BX7 TS model, three other equipment lines are planned for the market launch.
Raising the bar: a premium interior on a level with higher-range vehicle classes
"Given the class of vehicle, the 'premium' description for the interior of the Borgward BX7 TS is practically an understatement," says Ben Nawka, Chief Designer Europe of the Borgward team in Stuttgart. Anyone surprised by such a self-assured statement on the part of this young designer would be well advised to wait for a first encounter with the interior of the BX7. That's because the design and the equipment are at a level normally found only in premium vehicle classes that are significantly higher and substantially more expensive.
"Naturally, we've also pursued our guiding principle of 'modern tradition' within the vehicle. We've melded the traditional craftsmanship of high-class automobile manufacture with cutting-edge automotive technology in order to create a luxurious wellness ambience," explains Nawka. This design philosophy is particularly evident in the juxtaposition of high-grade materials such as velvety soft premium fine Scottish nappa leather with classic Borgward contrasting stitching, on the one hand, and innovative components such as the centrally mounted 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen, on the other. At the same time, a harmonious colour scheme of black with buffalo brown in combination with high-precision workmanship helps create the luxurious ambience guaranteed to make vehicle occupants feel immediately at home. The business of driving, meanwhile, is significantly eased by the ergonomically designed and intuitive controls, which also have outstanding tactile properties. For drivers and passengers alike, there is a generous amount of room within the vehicle. Depending on individual preferences, the Borgward BX7 can be configured with five, six, or seven seats.
Inner values: interior harmonizes with the body design's high quality
The characteristic design features of the bodywork continue within the vehicle, whereby the typical wing line and diamond-shaped reprises of the Borgward badge are particularly eyecatching. For example, the nappa leather trim of the dashboard evokes a further wing line, and diamonds are visible in both the colour-contrasted Borgward stitching of the napa leather sport seats and the decorative aluminium trim of the central console.
Linking the dashboard with the door trim, which is also covered with buffalo-brown nappa leather, is a distinctly elevated contour edge that sweeps from the lower edge of the windscreen to the B-pillar, thereby creating a wrap-around effect. Integrated in the upper, matt-black section of the dashboard are domes housing a large, 12.3-inch touchscreen plus round instruments and a central information display. Two open struts beneath the control panel of the automatic multi-zone climate-control system form a visual link with the central console, which houses, amongst other things, a short and ergonomically positioned gear selector for the dual-clutch transmission, a push/turn controller for the infotainment and driving dynamics systems, and a starter button for the engine. The central console flows into a leather-upholstered armrest for driver and front passenger with a storage compartment below.
The roof liner and the inner lining of the body pillars are covered with black DINAMICA imitation leather. With its matt, textured surface, this elegant and sporty material harmonizes well on both a visual and tactile level with the premium fine Scottish nappa leather fittings and enhances the high-quality interior ambience.
Characteristic Borgward TS insignia add extra luxury to the interior
As the top-of-the-range model of the BX7 series, the athletically dynamic TS also boasts some especially sporty design features in its interior. This programme of sport-enhancing elements includes special napa-leather sport seats with contrasting Borgward diamond stitching, as described above; a black sport steering wheel, flattened at the bottom, with a centrally mounted diamond Borgward badge in chrome and red; and sport pedals. At the same time, brushed aluminium - the material of choice for the decorative trim on the outer bodywork of the TS equipment line - is also to be found within the vehicle. Among other things, these elements enhance the dashboard, the handgrips of the central console and the air conditioning vents. The leather sport steering wheel, the sport pedals, the gear selector and the door sill panels with illuminated TS logo also feature the enhancing parts with their velvety sheen. As a further connective element, these components all feature a decorative design in the form of a stylised winglet.
High standard offering the best possible occupant protection
The Borgward BX7 is an SUV whose comprehensive "PROTECT" safety concept meets all requirements for ensuring the greatest degree of occupant safety. Both the vehicle's structure and its restraint systems give the debut model the potential to achieve outstanding results in international crash-test ratings such as those of Euro NCAP. The vehicle body, which includes a highly stable passenger compartment and defined deformation zones in the front and rear, forms the reliable foundation for the high level of occupant protection. Critical body segments are reinforced with high-strength, ultra high-strength or hot-formed steel. In the event of a frontal, side or rear collision, several load paths distribute the impact energy and, so far as possible, ensure balanced deceleration levels with which the passive safety systems are precisely aligned.
These passive safety systems thus offer the best possible protection. Whether it's a frontal, side, or rear collision, the seat belt system in the BX7 is supplemented by, among other things, up to six airbags that engage only if needed in the given crash situation and whose inflation can significantly reduce the severity of the accident for vehicle occupants. The passive safety equipment includes:
Two-stage hybrid airbags for the driver and front passenger
Side airbags that protect the shoulders, rib cage and pelvis of the driver and front passenger
Side airbags that protect the shoulders, rib cage and pelvis of passengers, or those in the outer seats in the second row
Three-point seat belts with seat belt tensioners and belt force limiters for the driver, front passenger and second row of seats (6-seat model), or for the outer seats in the second row (7-seat model)
Three-point seat belts for the centre seat in the second seating row (7-seat model) and for the third row
ISOFIX child safety seat anchoring system for the co-driver-seat
Seat belt status indicators
Seat occupant and child safety seat detection for the front passenger seat
Measures designed to protect more vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, are also an integral part of the comprehensive "PROTECT" safety concept. Precisely defined spaces between the body and the assemblies below it in the front section provide for amply proportioned deformation paths. This aspect, combined with the specially shaped front bumpers and an active bonnet that rises up at the hinges in the event of a frontalcollision, thus further increasing the spaces, results in a high degree of protection potential for both pedestrians and cyclists.
Assistance systems as virtual crumple zones
In order to ensure that the passive safety systems remain inactive as much as possible, the Borgward BX7 "PROTECT" concept also includes numerous driver assistance systems that can help prevent accidents. The systems utilize networked sensors such as radars, stereo cameras and conventional camera systems. The following assistance systems support the driver:
Collision assistant system with active brake intervention
City braking assistance system with pedestrian detection at speeds up to 70 km/h
Active or passive lane-keeping assistance system
Active or passive lane-changing assistance system
Proximity cruise control for continually maintaining a safe distance to the vehicle ahead at speeds up to 200 km/h
Traffic sign recognition system
Side wind compensation system
Driver-fatigue warning system
Tyre pressure monitoring system with individual wheel alerts on the dashboard display when tyre pressure drops or is too low
In addition of the 360º panoramic camera make operating the Borgward SUV an even more comfortable experience, especially in complex situations, and also help prevent minor damage. Parallel and perpendicular parking are a cinch, and with the help of the assistance systems, drivers can manoeuvre with extreme precision in tight spaces in car parks or in places with confusing terrain. Borgward drivers also need not worry about pulling out of tight exits without seeing anything, as the front and rear cameras can detect pedestrians, cyclists or vehicles approaching from the side, all of which are shown on the central display screen.
Trailblazing drive train
The new conventionally powered Borgward SUV boasts the most advanced all-wheel drive system available today. Together with specialists from the renowned supplier company BorgWarner, which has already designed all-wheel drive systems for industry competitors such as BMW and Audi, engineers from Borgward adapted the BorgWarner GenV fully variable all-wheel drive system with an electronically controlled multiple plate clutch. "Our ultramodern and innovative AWD drive train offers a high level of traction reserve, which means outstanding agility and the highest degree of safety are guaranteed on all surfaces", is how Bernd Kircher, Chief Engineer of the development team in Stuttgart, describes the benefits of the fully automated "torque-on-demand" drive system. In line with the driving situation and road surface conditions, the Borgward all-wheel drive system optimally distributes torque to the front and rear axles in order to ensure the best possible traction in the given situation.
Permanent all-wheel drive with variable propulsion
The Borgward operates with 90% propulsion to the front-wheels in normal situations. Only after the vehicle's dynamic handling systems detect an unstable situation will torque be transferred to the rear axle in order to maintain stability. In other words, the all-wheel drive system reacts preventively within milliseconds. That's because unlike conventional systems, the innovative Borgward 4×4 drive system uses an electronically controlled all-wheel multiple plate clutch with an electric actuator on the rear axle. This actuator continually receives sensor signals from the dynamic handling systems and uses the data to regulate the transfer of torque to the rear axle. The most ingenious thing about this system is that the actuator can pre-engage the multiple plate clutch and transfer torque to the rear axle before wheelspin occurs. Other systems that do not have an electric actuator always require drive slip in order to control the all-wheel clutch, which makes them less agile and efficient.
Fuel economy concept ensures the best possible energy efficiency
The drive system's fuel economy concept is a completely new development. Here, low system weight and a new multiple-disc limited-slip differential on the rear axle lend the system a high degree of energy efficiency. It was previously not possible to completely disengage the rear axle in a torque-on-demand drive system due to its design principle. Approximately five percent of total torque always ended up at the rear axle, even if the given driving situation did not require this. The energy and dynamic potential of this torque was thus lost.
"Our all-wheel drive system ensures the greatest possible efficiency because we're now able to completely disengage the rear axle for the first time", says Kircher. The benefit offered by the innovative AWD solution is the result of a valve and pump system that can vary the oil level in the clutch housing. If power is not needed at the rear axle, the electronic control system lowers the oil level. This means that unlike the case with conventional torque-on-demand solutions, the clutch plate packs for accelerating and decelerating the vehicle can rotate freely in opposite directions. The rear axle is thus completely disengaged from the drive train and the aforementioned losses are eliminated. In the opposite situation, the control unit adjusts the oil level accordingly within milliseconds and rear-wheel drive is made available without delay.
Comfort meets dynamic handling: electric power steering system and multi-link rear suspension
The drive train and the chassis (with the suspension, steering and braking systems) complement one another perfectly. The sporty, digressive electric power steering system with a variable steering ratio and demand-actuated steering power assistance always implements the optimal set-up for the given driving situation. Drivers thus always receive precise feedback. When travelling rapidly along a winding mountain pass, for example, the more direct steering ratio resulting from the rising steering angle allows for precise driving towards and through curves of different radius. At high speeds on motorways, the steering system ensures the vehicle travels straight ahead by reducing steering power assistance and providing less direct translation around the central steering position. When manoeuvring in a city, maximum steering power assistance is provided - making parking easy, for example.
The sophisticated suspension, with MacPherson struts on the front axle and a multi-link suspension on the rear axle, combines extraordinary stability with balanced ride comfort and a high degree of active safety. The highly stable and sensitively regulated braking system with ventilated brake discs and fixed brake callipers is electronically controlled, which also makes it a key safety feature. The safety package here includes ABS, an electronic braking force distribution system, a braking assistant and an electric parking brake with an "auto hold" function.
Powerful: direct injection four-cylinder turbo-engine with 2.0 litres displacement
An impressive alternative to the Borgward BX7 PHEV cutting-edge plug-in hybrid is offered by the exceptionally sporty Borgward BX7 AWD T-GDI prototype with variable all-wheel drive and a direct injection four-cylinder engine. The ultramodern 2.0-litre direct-injection engine has an output of 165 kW (224 hp) and delivers maximum torque of 300 Nm starting at 1,750 rpm. This performance, that is perfectly aligned with it, ensures a superior driving experience. The Borgward BX7 AWD T-GDI sprints to 100 km/h in less than ten seconds and has a top speed of more than 200 km/h.
Top infotainment and full connectivity
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. The BX7 TS AWD prototype, which is close to series production, already provides a taste of the wide variety of features on offer from Borgward's Multiple Interaction system. In the first instance, it will mean enhanced operating comfort that is not limited to "either/or" but instead follows the "and" principle. More specifically, drivers can choose how to display and use the intuitive infotainment menus in accordance with their own preferences:
The most convenient option is to use the inbuilt touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard. Situated on the left-hand side of the 12.3-inch display - the largest in the SUV class - is a control panel with a virtual push/turn controller that the driver can use to view and activate individual menus and submenus. Activated functions are displayed on the left-hand side of the screen, some in a photorealistic manner.
The 10 WM (10 way multi functional control knob) - the "analogue" counterpart to this virtual representation - is integrated in the central console. Most activities with this controller are displayed in the control panel of the touchscreen.
Buttons providing direct access to specific functions are positioned around the central 10 WM. Eight extra buttons on the sides of the 10 WM are for the navigation, radio, media, L/R, link, iCall, back and home.
In addition, certain functions can be called up via voice command. This feature is activated via a button on the steering wheel, as is standard in this vehicle class.
Eight clearly structured menus for the Borgward BX7
After the vehicle has been started, the central 12.3-inch touchscreen first displays an animated Borgward diamond-shaped badge. Next to appear is the main menu that had been previously selected. The menus in detail:
Radio - the radio is switched on via touchscreen or push/turn controller. Frequently used functions such as volume, channel selection or mute can be operated via steering-wheel buttons.
Media - this is used to select the desired input source: USB/AUX IN connector or Bluetooth
Telephone - activation and operation of mobile phone, which is fully integrated within the on-board infotainment system via Bluetooth.
Navigation - input of navigation information such as destination or route options.
Cloud - activation and configuration of the vehicle's on-board WiFi hotspot. Passengers can connect multiple Internet-capable devices and surf at LTE data-transmission rates (provided LTE-network coverage is available) with telematic services platform (TSP).
Air conditioning - selection of the basic settings for the automatic air-conditioning system. In everyday driving, the air conditioning is operated via the control panel located in the central console, beneath the middle air vents.
Vehicle settings - selection of a range of basic vehicle settings, including headlamps, interior lights, air conditioning and vehicle locking.
Default settings - definition of basic settings such as language, display modes, display brightness, Internet access data and alarm system.
Full on-board integration of smartphones and tablets
Both Android and Apple devices can be fully connected to the vehicle via Borgward's Multiple Interaction system. This gives drivers full access to all smartphone functions - e.g., to access contact lists, play music of the phone, have text messages read aloud, use various apps, or use the large central touchscreen to view images and videos stored on a mobile phone. Using the on-board WiFi hotspot, vehicle occupants can access the Internet via devices such as smartphones, tablets or netbooks, and enjoy rapid and stable data transfer via the powerful roof antenna.
Perfect service with a personal assistant
Using buttons of iCall beside the 10 WM control knob, driver and passengers can contact a 24/7 service hotline via telephone. Their call will be taken by competent service staff ready to provide advice and concrete assistance so as to make the Borgward driving experience even more pleasant and safe:
The SERVICE function is part of 10 WM and connects the driver with a service employee, who will be only too happy to help with, for example, hotel bookings, theatre tickets, a restaurant reservation 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. Should, for example, an airbag or seatbelt tensioner be activated, specially trained teams will also contact the driver and inquire after the wellbeing of vehicle occupants. Depending on the response, appropriate action will be taken and an ambulance sent to the scene of the accident.
Conversely, certain vehicle data and functions can be remotely accessed at any time via smartphone apps for Apple and Android. These include fuel level, tyre pressure, oil level and the next service date. Similarly, the vehicle can be located via smartphone and remotely locked and unlocked. 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 has been switched on.
Borgward intends to provide this service package in Europe initially at no extra charge.Hide -