Between the Fiesta ST, Tourneo van concept and the new Kuga (that's Escape to us Yanks), Ford had plenty to showcase this year at the Geneva Motor Show. But one of the most pivotal – for its European operations, anyway – is the B-Max.

A mini-minivan based on the Fiesta platform, the B-Max takes an innovative form. At least, its doors do. Because as Ford has highlighted (and we dutifully reported) recently, the automaker has managed to eliminate the entire B-pillar, integrating it into the door itself to form an extra wide opening on both sides of the extra-small people-mover.

It strikes us as a useful feature, and while the B-Max itself will not be making the transatlantic voyage back with us from Europe to North America, we're hoping that the door system will, in some shape or form, anyway. In the meantime, you can admire from afar in the gallery of high-res live shots from the Palexpo show floor and delve into the press release after the jump for all the details.
Show full PR text
Ford's All-New B-MAX to Showcase Unique Design and Unrivalled Technology at Geneva Motor Show

- Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally will debut production-ready version of all-new Ford B-MAX at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March
- B-MAX's ingenious design and unrivalled technology sets new benchmark for smart, compact, city-friendly cars
- Highlights also include class-leading load-space, high-quality craftsmanship and materials, as well as advanced new engines

COLOGNE, Germany, Feb. 1, 2012 – Ford will throw open the doors to its all-new production-ready B-MAX compact multi-activity vehicle when it takes a starring role at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March.

Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally will be in Geneva to unveil the new B-MAX, which promises to set new standards with its unique design and best-in-class technological features. Its return to Geneva, in full production form, comes just a year after the concept was unveiled at the Geneva show.

"The B-MAX combines an exciting, innovative design with features that only previously have been found in bigger cars," said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe. "It's a brand new car that responds to the needs of an increasing number of customers who want much more from their small cars."

Bringing the B-MAX to production demanded a new approach to door construction, which has resulted in wide-open access for drivers, passengers and luggage; with the center pillars integrated into the doors themselves. The B-MAX also will deliver superior craftsmanship and high quality materials rarely found on an affordable compact car, together with flexible-seating and class-leading load-space.

Ford's new 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, with its advanced combination of power and efficiency, will be available on the B-MAX, as will Duratorq TDCi diesels. The Ford B-MAX goes on sale in Europe later this year.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      From the pics, the new door concept doesn't improve access to the rear seat area. It seems the deletion of the B-pillar would only improve access if this was a cargo van with no passenger seat.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I was surprised by that also. It seems a very mixed bag. Having driven minivans extensively with regular doors and sliding rear doors, no doubt I prefer sliding rear doors. This new design to some extent it has to be improvement over a traditional door setup as far as getting your feet in, but then the side doors don't seem to slide back far enough? Forcing you to be forward really and then scoot back ... like in the back of a 2+2 coupe almost? Because that rear bench looks like it is inset by 8-10 inches compared to the door opening? I'm guessing they may have wanted to have a wider rear door, but couldn't for safety and otherwise have it slide back farther but then it would have stuck out beyond the trunk and been unsafe, plus probably catching too much air on a breezy day when it sticks out beyond the side ...
          • 3 Years Ago
          This is a b-segment car. s you can see, with the doors open, they already extend beyond the rear of the car itself. I doubt they can travel back any more. The fact that there's no B-Pillar will increase the door opening greatly.... three dimmensionally. Sure you can't tell from these pictures because they are from a side-on POV.
      Basil Exposition
      • 3 Years Ago
      No B pillar is super cool
      • 3 Years Ago
      I doubt this will have enough room in the back for infant / child seats. I have a Mazda Tribute and my son (3) is always kicking the back of my seat.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Americans are laughable when it comes to cars they have no experience of. The B-Max will compete against established B-segment MPVs such as the Opel Meriva and Renault Modus, both of which have more than ample room for four adults and two large dogs in the back.
      Daniel Bright
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think this would be a great alternative to a minivan for many families...
      • 3 Years Ago
      small + efficient + practical + smartly styled = not available in USA
      Master Austin
      • 3 Years Ago
      With gas prices rising, I think this would make a good addition here in the U.S., or even the Grand C-Max they decided not to bring over at the last minute.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not bad....but wouldn't bring in as much as a CUV or SUV, so it's a no-go here in the US. It seems about the size of the Rondo replacement, which will do ok if it looks anything like this.
      • 3 Years Ago
      this does not actually have 3 rows does it? ?? how is it a minivan? they just slapped sliding doors on a fiesta. I'm not really complaining, i actually think it's a great idea - it's just not a minivan.
      • 3 Years Ago put sliding rear doors on a car, and no matter how small it is you can call it a "minivan"?
      • 3 Years Ago
      This door setup is a segment changer! I've needed just a little more space to get something in a vehicle so many times and this solves it. This should go on every 4 door they make! God I hope they patented it. This would be useful camping, trips, biking, moving, for business, personal use and the list goes on!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sadly, Americans don't buy these kinds of vehicles. The Kia Rondo made an exit from the American market and the Mazda 5 isn't a best seller. Also, Americans barely buy full size mini vans. The only way Americans would start considering vehicles like these is when gas prices consistently stay at $5.00 or more.
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