Ford has released the first official images of the production version of the Ford B-Max MPV – which is fast gaining a reputation of being one of the most innovative models in its segment. Ford CEO Alan Mullally will be unveiling the B-Max, which is based on the Fiesta, during the Geneva Motor Show. One year ago, it was previewed as a concept car with the same name. It’s the newest model to be created using the worldwide ‘One Ford’ strategy. This model will start selling in the UK this September. Ford’s B-Max will enter this this smart, compact car segment, which consists of models like the Vauxhall Meriva, Citroën C3 Picasso and Renault Scenic.
Ford was actually one of the late ones to arrive in this segment. The B-Max replaces the existing Fusion, which doesn’t really hold a candle to the B-Max. Ford asserts that a new benchmark is set by the B-Max with its “ingenious design and unrivalled technology.” Its highlights include the use of rear sliding doors and the removal of the B-pillars, a characteristic carried over from the concept car. In comparison, the Grand C-Max (a bigger sibling) has rear sliding doors but keeps the traditional B-pillars. Ford has resolved the technical problems that are typically related to not having B-pillars -- mainly side impact safety and production complexity.
The B-pillars are integrated into the sliding doors. Ford of Europe CEO Stephen Odell said that the B-Max offers a design that’s groundbreaking and has features that have only previously been offered in its bigger cars. The official technical details have yet to be announced but it’s likely that Ford will provide more information as the Geneva launch nears. The concept version was slightly longer than four meters, making it 11 cm longer than a five-door Fiesta and 32cm shorter than the bigger Focus-based C-Max. The dimensions of this production car are expected to be identical to those of the concept car. Ford asserts that the new B-Max provides a load space that's the best in its class. The Merica, its fiercest rival, provides a load capacity of 397 litres with the rear seats up and a capacity of 1496 litres when the rear seats are folded flat. The new Ford B-Max will get the innovative 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine delivering 125 hp but also the Duratorq TDCi diesels.