GENEVA – The B-MAX, an innovative new small car, is making its appearance on the Ford stand at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.
The B-MAX showcases a unique new body design with an integrated 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.
Developing themes from the 2009 iosis MAX design study, 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.
The B-MAX previews some of the 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 concept study 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 5-door, and is a full 32 cm shorter than the new C-MAX.
The B-MAX combines the integrated B-pillar door format with a flexible and easy-to-use seating system, resulting in an interior which offers practicality and 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.
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.
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.