The new Ford B-MAX unveiled

Ford unveiled its dramatic new B-MAX vehicle at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, providing an early preview of exciting innovations from Ford in the European small car market.

The B-MAX showcases a unique new body design which eliminates the traditional B pillar and features twin rear sliding doors. This innovative format – which has already been engineered for production – promises best-in-class access to the cabin, together with unmatched convenience and flexibility.

The innovation continues inside the cabin, where the interior offers exceptional space and versatility for such a compact vehicle. The use of high quality materials highlights the vision that small, practical cars can also be comfortable and well-equipped.

The B-MAX previews some of the exciting innovations developed by Ford for the European small car market. Based on Ford’s global B-car platform – shared with the highly successful new Fiesta – the B-MAX on show at Geneva outlines the company’s vision for a compact vehicle which combines outstanding space and versatility with stylish design.

At slightly more than 4 metres in length, the B-MAX is just 11 cm longer than the Fiesta five-door, and is a full 32 cm shorter than the new C-MAX.

The key innovation on the B-MAX is the adoption of a unique integrated B-pillar door concept, which promises new levels of convenience and flexibility for small cars.

This new body design eliminates the traditional B-pillar structure at the trailing edge of the front door, which connects the roof to the floor. Instead, the body side features an integrated B-pillar, and access to the interior is via a conventional front door or a rear sliding door, each of which can open independently.

In developing the B-MAX’s unique integrated B-pillar body design for production, Ford engineers have ensured that it delivers the same outstanding levels of crash protection as Ford products with a more conventional structure.

To deliver the required performance in side impacts, the structure of both front and rear doors has been significantly strengthened – with ultra-high-strength Boron steel in key load-bearing areas – so that the door frames work together to absorb energy like a ‘virtual B pillar’.

The exterior design of the B-MAX shows how Ford’s kinetic design language can be applied to its unique new vehicle format, creating a compact, sporty and stylish car which adds its own distinctive character to Ford’s popular MAV line-up.

The interior of the B-MAX offers exceptional space and versatility for such a compact vehicle. The cabin is immaculately trimmed in contemporary, high quality materials, highlighting that small, practical cars can also be comfortable and well-equipped.

The B-MAX is powered by an ultra-low-CO2 powertrain, featuring a state-of-the-art three-cylinder 1.0-litre Ford EcoBoost petrol engine equipped with the Ford Auto-Start-Stop system.

Like the 1.6- and 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engines, which have recently been launched in Ford’s European medium and large cars, the 1.0-litre unit combines direct fuel injection, turbocharging and twin independent variable cam timing to achieve significant reductions in fuel-consumption and CO2 emissions.

Designed to replace larger conventional four-cylinder petrol engines, the three-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engine is undergoing final development prior to its production launch.