• Feb 28, 2011
Ford B-Max – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Ford S-Max and C-Max have a new little sibling, and its name is B-Max. Making its global debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the very compact minivan rides on the same platform as the Fiesta and is just 4.3-inches longer than that model's five-door hatchback. Aiding in the action of ingress/egress, the B-Max ditches B-pillars entirely so occupants can easily glide past the dual sliding rear doors.

Ford B-MaxThe B-pillar appears to be completely removed but are in fact integrated into the front and rear doors. When closed, the two work together and behave in the same manner as a traditional pillar.

Doors closed and occupants protected, forward motivation is provided courtesy of a 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost engine, the latest and smallest of Ford's EcoBoost engine family. With the aid of Start/Stop technology, the EcoBoost engine should even better fuel economy than a similarly powerful four-cylinder engine.

For more information on the Ford B-Max, follow the jump and peruse the press release. And stay tuned to our live coverage of the Geneva Motor Show, as we'll bring back live images of the B-Max just as soon as we can.



[Source: Ford]
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B-MAX HIGHLIGHTS FORD'S INNOVATIVE VISION FOR THE SMALL CAR MARKET

-Global reveal of the Ford B-MAX at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show
-Dramatic new door concept – with integrated B-pillar construction and twin sliding doors – is production ready, and promises unique appeal in the segment
-Benefits include outstanding access to the front and rear, unmatched convenience and flexibility, and outstanding safety
-Highly-versatile B-MAX interior combines exceptional space and practicality with the comfort and premium materials of a much larger vehicle
-Ultra-low-CO2 powertrain with state-of-the-art 1.0-litre three-cylinder Ford EcoBoost petrol engine and Auto-Start-Stop

GENEVA, March 1, 2011– Ford is unveiling its dramatic new B-MAX vehicle at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, providing an early preview of exciting innovations from Ford in the small car market.

The B-MAX has 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 dynamic and stylish new B-MAX illustrates how Ford's kinetic design language can be translated to a unique new vehicle format.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.

"With its highly popular S-MAX and Galaxy, and more recently the all-new C-MAX and Grand C-MAX, Ford has a proven history of bringing innovation and style to the multi-activity vehicle market," said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe.

"The new B-MAX signals that Ford is ready to bring the same bold thinking to the small car market. With its unique door format and dynamic design, the B-MAX sends a strong message that customers looking for a compact, stylish and versatile vehicle will soon have an exciting new choice."

New vision for compact vehicles

Based on Ford's global B-car platform – shared with the highly successful new Fiesta – the B-MAX is slightly more than four metres in length, the B-MAX is just 11 cm longer than the Fiesta five-door, and is 32 cm shorter than the new C-MAX.

With this highly compact footprint, the B-MAX is ideally placed to meet the fast-growing demand for downsized cars which are better suited to congested urban conditions, but without sacrificing interior space and comfort.

"With the B-MAX we set out to create a vehicle that captures the spirit of a smaller
S-MAX," said Martin Smith, Ford of Europe's executive design director. "We wanted to show that a small car could be very spacious and practical inside, while still having the sleek, dynamic appearance that has made the S-MAX so popular."

Unmatched interior versatility

With both front and rear doors open there is outstanding access to the interior, with a huge, clear aperture measuring over 1.5 metres wide. This is around twice the width offered by competitors with alternative door concepts, making it significantly easier to enter or exit the rear seats, attend to children in child seats, or load shopping.

Having folded the 60/40 split rear seats and the front passenger seat to create an extensive flat load floor, the side access is particularly convenient to load bulky items such as flat-pack furniture or even a bicycle.

With the front passenger seat folded, the interior is capable of swallowing exceptionally long loads measuring up to 2.35 metres in length.

Sitting 11cm taller than Fiesta, the B-MAX also provides extremely generous accommodation for its occupants. Drivers benefit from a higher 'command' seating position, while rear seat legroom and headroom is significantly improved.

Engineered for outstanding safety

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'.

Special safety interlocks and reinforced latch mechanisms ensure that the doors remain firmly fixed to the roof and floor structure during an impact, and enable the front and rear doors to act together to protect the occupants.

When these measures are combined with other structural enhancements to the bodyshell and the latest restraint system technologies, the result is a body design which meets the highest safety standards.

Compact, sporty and stylish

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 vehicle's striking front-end features a bold new interpretation of Ford's signature trapezoidal grille. Other distinctive kinetic design elements include strong headlamp graphics, the muscular shoulder line with its powerful undercut, a characteristic window line with its kick-up behind the rear doors, and the prominent wheel lips.

The bold three-dimensional surfacing of the body sides helps to avoid the tall, blocky look which is common in this class of vehicle, and includes a unique new rocker treatment, with a stylish 'zig-zag' form on the rear doors.

With its distinctive window graphic, wraparound tailgate glass, and slim tail lamps split by the tailgate, the rear of the B-MAX is closely reminiscent of the S-MAX. Strong horizontal feature lines help to emphasis the vehicle's wide and confident stance.

Spacious premium interior

The cabin retains the dynamic, sporty feel of Ford's small-car interiors, but introduces the more premium character and decorative elements from the larger C-MAX.

Driver controls are based on Ford's HMI (Human Machine Interface) approach, with a large six-inch touch screen display mounted in the centre of the upper IP, above the much-acclaimed mobile-phone style integrated control panel.

The sensation of space in the interior is enhanced by a full-size panoramic glass roof, which covers the entire roof area.

Ultra-low CO2 powertrain

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.

This three-cylinder Ford EcoBoost represents the next addition to the global family of Ford EcoBoost engines. 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.

"The B-MAX demonstrates Ford's commitment to providing customers with exciting and innovative vehicles," said Stephen Odell. "We believe that the new concepts and technologies it showcases will have a major impact on the small car market."


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  • 30 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe they can sell it in America as an XB/Cube competitor.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The thought of this thing's utility and great gas mileage really make it attractive. And it looks pretty good for what it is.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love this too. And it is so shocking that a small car is so good looking and appealing!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Another reason that I believe that next year will be the best one yet.

      Of course, I'm the only guy I know who sketched front-wheel-drive minivans in the margins of his junior high school notebooks--- in 1960!

      Love the idea of a 1 liter 3 cyl. eco-boost. With Stop/Start yet. It should snarl.

      But what about the tranny? Manual available, I hope?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ford's design studio(s) has really been generating some nice work lately.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Unfortunately Ford's marketing geniuses chose the gold metallic flavor to try and win us over. ....
      • 3 Years Ago
      I was at the Toronoto auto show last Thursday and at least 4 different companies had identical looking B-Pillar-less concept vehicles. I'm skeptical of this new 'future car' until I see some crash test results. I'll take a proper steel pillar any day.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I was at the show as well. Those concepts are like that for one reason and one reason only. To show off the interior. Meanwhile this has a dedicated function of easier in and out for the back.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This will be a big hit for them . Exactly what some families are looking for . A small family hauler that can handle and get good gas mileage .
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ooooo I like!
        • 3 Years Ago
        AWD available I hope!?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Holy ballsack that thing is cool. Am I a dork for liking that thing?! LOL
      • 3 Years Ago
      In terms of looks and function this Fiesta Grande works out better then the already good looking Fiesta... agree with all of the positive comments...good work Ford...again, shocking that I'm saying that, especially about a mini mini -van...Sell it in the U.S. as gas hits $4+/gal this summer =another winner for Ford!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thats pretty neat. Easy ingress and egress. Good job! And no unpainted cheap plastic everywhere! =)
      • 3 Years Ago
      i think this is a step in the right direction. a lot of the time smaller cars are not convenient not because of lack of space, but because there's no easy way to get in.
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