After a 54-year slumber, Borgward will show a new SUV in Frankfurt

It’s been a fantastic year for fans of defunct European automakers. Renault’s Alpine division showed a close-to-production concept last month at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, England’s TVR announced plans to launch four new sports cars, and Jensen is on track to introduce a new Interceptor next year.

Germany’s Borgward is making a surprising comeback after spending 54 years in the history books, and the car maker will present a brand new model at the biennial Frankfurt Motor Show. Details are still few and far between, but a handful of teaser images give us a preview of what we can expect from it.

The yet-unnamed SUV will be billed as an “affordable premium” off-roader, and it will be roughly the same size as a Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. That’s about all we know at this point because the company’s two teaser images do such a good job of hiding the SUV’s overall lines.

The first Borgward of the 21st century was penned by former Saab design boss Einar Hareide, and it will usher in the design language that will influence every one of the company’s subsequent models. It will ride on a highly modular platform, though whether it was designed in-house or borrowed from another automaker is an open question.

Relaunching a brand is easier said than done. Borgward’s unexpected resurrection is being spearheaded by Christian Borgward, the grandson of company founder Carl F. W. Borgward, and Karl-Heinz Knöss, an industry veteran who has previously worked for both Saab and Daimler. Additionally, the project is at least partially funded by the deep pockets of Beiqi Foton Motors, one of the biggest manufacturers of commercial vehicles in China.

There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Borgward before, but executives predict the Stuttgart-based company will return to being a household name in the next few years. Borgward is hoping to build up a full lineup of cars and crossovers at the impressive rate of two new models a year, and it ambitiously aims to sell 800,000 cars a year by 2020 before reaching 1.6 million units annually just five years later. That’s ambitious to say the least, but seeing will be believing.


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