The new Ford B-MAX, revealed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, features a winning combination of unique design, unrivalled economy and what is among the most advanced small car technology in Europe.
The B-MAX’s Ford Easy Access Door System provides unobstructed entry and exit with hinged front doors and sliding rear doors integrating the central body pillars.
The new model also achieves class-leading fuel economy and the lowest CO2 emissions for both petrol and diesel engines.
The innovative new B-MAX is the first European car to offer SYNC, Ford’s voice-activated, in-car connectivity system featuring Emergency Assistance, which is designed to assist occupants to place a call to the emergency services in the event of a crash.
It is also the first vehicle in its segment to provide the added reassurance of the Active City Stop system, designed to help motorists avoid low speed collisions with stationary or slower moving traffic in front.
“The Ford B-MAX really challenges traditional small car thinking, and pioneers a concept not attempted by any other manufacturers,” said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe. "Its ingenious design opens the doors – quite literally – to exciting new ideas about what's possible with a compact vehicle.
“But this is more than just a smart and versatile small car,” he added. “The latest Ford technologies mean the B-MAX is more fun to drive, offers enhanced safety and achieves class-leading fuel economy. It does things which other vehicles simply cannot do. We believe the Ford B-MAX will have a major impact on the market for compact cars.
Based on Ford’s global B-car platform – shared with the highly successful new Fiesta – the B-MAX presents the company’s vision for a premium compact multi-activity vehicle (MAV), combining outstanding space and versatility within a smart and stylish exterior.
Ford’s global small car vehicle line director Joerg Beyer said, “The B-MAX is packed full of innovative thinking, from its unique door concept, to the advanced 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine to the powerful SYNC voice control system. Customers looking for a compact and versatile vehicle now have an exciting new choice.”
The B-MAX is just over 4 metres in length, only 11cm longer than the Fiesta five-door and a full 32cm shorter than the new C-MAX; perfectly placing it to meet the fast-growing demand for downsized cars, suited to congested urban conditions without making any compromise on interior space or passenger comfort.
The unique Ford Easy Access Door System delivers new levels of convenience, access and flexibility. It features conventional, hinged front doors and rear sliding doors, combined in a new body design. This integrates the traditional central pillar structure into the front and rear doors, rather than forming part of the bodyshell itself.
When both front and rear doors are open there is outstanding access to the interior, with a huge, clear aperture more than 1.5 metres wide. This is around twice the width offered by competitors with alternative door concepts and makes it significantly easier to enter or exit the rear seats, attend to children in child seats, or load and unload shopping.
B-MAX’s twin sliding rear doors also offer added benefits in crowded streets or narrow parking bays when access via hinged doors could be awkward. The front and rear doors can be opened completely independently, so the front or rear cabin can be accessed as required.
The B-MAX combines the Ford Easy Access Door System with a flexible and easy-to-use seating system. The 60/40 split rear seats can be folded flat with a simple ‘one-hand, one- motion’ mechanism. The front passenger seat can also be folded, creating an extensive flat load floor from front to rear, capable of swallowing exceptionally long loads measuring up to 2.35 metres in length.
The generous access makes it particularly convenient to load bulky items through the side doors, such as flat-pack furniture or even a bicycle. An adjustable load floor in the boot creates a flat load space when the rear seats are lowered, with extra room underneath for valuable items to be hidden from view.
Drivers benefit from a higher ‘command’ seating position in the B-MAX, whose overall vehicle height is 12cm taller than the Fiesta. This also significantly improves rear seat legroom and headroom.
Ford has applied kinetic design language to create a compact, sporty and stylish car which adds its own distinctive character to Ford’s MAV line-up.
“We set out to create a vehicle that captures the spirit of the S-MAX, but is smaller,” 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 made the S-MAX so popular.”
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 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 ‘zigzag’ form on the rear doors.
B-MAX is also true to the Ford fun-to-drive DNA with class-leading driving dynamics featuring Torque Vectoring Control for superior traction and agility.
The B-MAX brings new standards of fuel efficiency to the compact MAV class with Ford’s latest petrol and diesel powertrains equipped with low-CO2 ECOnetic Technologies.
The petrol engine line-up is led by the three-cylinder 1.0-litre Ford EcoBoost petrol engine, available in 108 HP and 118 HP versions. Equipped with the Ford Auto-Start-Stop system as standard, the 118 HPEcoBoost engine achieves class-leading CO2 emissions of 114g/km and fuel consumption of 4.9l/100km (57.6mpg). Other petrol engine options include the 89 HP 1.4-litre Duratec unit, or the 104 HP 1.6-litre Duratec engine which is paired with Ford’s high-efficiency PowerShift six-speed automatic transmission with advanced dual clutch technology.
B-MAX is available with a choice of two Duratorq TDCi diesel engines; each offering best- in-class fuel efficiency. The 94 HP 1.6-litre engine delivers CO2 emissions of 104g/km and fuel consumption of 4.0l/100km (70.6mpg). The 74 HP 1.5-litre diesel, closely derived from the 1.6-litre engine, appears for the first time in Ford’s European product range. It achieves CO2 emissions of 109g/km and fuel consumption of 4.1l/100km (68.9mpg).
ECOnetic Technologies fitted as standard to all B-MAX vehicles include Electric Power Assisted Steering, which requires less energy than hydraulic power assisted steering systems, Gear Shift Indicator to highlight the most efficient gear changing points, and the Ford Eco Mode driver information system which helps drivers adopt a more economical driving style. Smart Regenerative Charging, which charges the battery at the most economical point in a journey, is also featured on the 1.0-litre EcoBoost and 1.5/1.6-litre Duratorq engines.
Source: Ford press