Borgward Isabella Concept Brings Back a Historic Automotive Name

Can Borgward rise back to prominence after a half-century hiatus?

byEric Brandt|
Borgward Isabella Concept Brings Back a Historic Automotive Name

Borgward was a German luxury car brand that originally ran from 1929 through 1961. The brand started a comeback back in 2008 when Christian Borgward, grandson of original founder Carl Borgward, revived the brand with the help of Chinese investors

Together, they unveiled the BX7 crossover at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, and started selling it in China in 2016. The BX7 has since been joined by the smaller BX5 crossover in Borgward's Chinese lineup.

Now, the new Borgward is hoping to build some momentum with the all-new Isabella concept, revealed at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. It brings back the storied Isabella name, which was the original Borgward’s best-selling model when it was produced from 1954 through 1961. This versatile platform was available as a saloon, coupe, cabriolet, wagon, or even a small pickup truck.

We can see a little bit of design inspiration of the original Isabella making its way into this futuristic new concept, but not much. While the brand dug up an old nameplate, it’s clear that Borgward is not hung up on heritage or retro styling. 

The Borgward Isabella concept is an EV, but we don't know any details about its electric drivetrain.

The concept has a two-tone blue exterior with a long, dynamic, coupe-like shape. Sliding, pillar-less doors provide entry the colorful interior that kind of looks like it was designed by Prince; there’s a lot of purple, and a triangular center stack that appears to be a full touch-screen display. Above the dash sits a panoramic screen displaying myriad information for the driver.

This concept is very, well, concept-y, and we don’t expect anything quite this extreme to make it to production. That being said, a new production Isabella after a 56-year hiatus would be cool to see. Borgward was never very big in the U.S. and we don’t expect the brand to make it over here anytime soon, if at all...but it’s shaping up to be a fun brand to watch.