Ford B-MAX revealed
1st March, 2011
- Dramatic 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
materials of a larger vehicle
- Ultra-low-CO2 powertrain with state-of-the-art 1.0-litre three-cylinder Ford EcoBoost petrol
engine and Auto-Start-Stop
Ford is unveiling its dramatic new B-MAX vehicle at Switzerland's 2011 Geneva Motor Show (3rd-13th
March), providing an early preview of exciting innovations from Ford in the small car market.
The Ford 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 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
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 provide 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 11 cm 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 body shell and the
latest restraint system technologies, the result is a body design which meets the highest safety
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, making 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 '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.
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
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.”