U.S. Markets close in 2 hrs 23 mins

Borgward Isabella Concept looks to reboot a long-dead brand

Antti Kautonen

What's a Borgward? Well, it was a German carmaker up until 1961 that was dusted off after a half century of slumber, combining German engineering with Chinese money. Well, after launching a compact crossover in China, the brand is ready to make a splash back home, revealing its Isabella Concept coupe in Frankfurt.

Evoking the shapes of the achingly beautiful Isabella coupe made during the company's final years in the late 1950s and the early 1960s, the new concept exhibited at Frankfurt combines the two-tone color palettes of yesteryear to a flowing and flamboyant modern concept car penned by former Mini design boss Anders Warming. Borgward says it's an electric car, but no facts or figures about the drivetrain were distributed.

Like its 1960 inspiration, the Isabella Concept is a 2+2. Like a number of concept cars these days, the Isabella also offers pillarless entry inside its sharply designed cabin, albeit with sliding doors. There's something vaguely Porsche about its shape, while the rear also echoes the similarly reborn Alpine coupe, particularly around the rear window.

The Isabella seems bound to divide opinions, especially the wild interior colors and the shimmering center console built out of several layers of touchscreen display. It certainly seems likely to attract the attention the reborn brand is seeking.

.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }