2011 Geneva Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- The latest member of Ford's expanding "Max" family of people movers, the Fiesta-based B-Max is slated to go on sale early next year in Europe.
- The B-Max isn't expected to come to the U.S.
- The B-Max concept also marks the debut of Ford's latest EcoBoost engine, a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline unit that will see its first production use next year in Europe.
GENEVA — Ford Motor has officially unveiled the latest member of its expanding "Max" family of people movers. The Fiesta-based B-Max is slated to go on sale early next year in Europe, but isn't expected to come to the U.S.
The automaker tipped its hand in a brief announcement several weeks ago that described the Geneva debut of a "groundbreaking all-new vehicle." At the time, a Ford spokesperson told Edmunds.com that the car would be "Euro-focused" and "not likely for the U.S."
The B-Max in Europe will join a portfolio of multipurpose vehicles that includes the Focus-based C-Max, the seven-passenger Grand C-Max and the midsize S-Max. Ford showed the 2012 C-Max, along with two gasoline-electric variants, the C-Max Energi and the C-Max Hybrid, at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
The five-passenger B-Max, the smallest of Ford's MPV models, is 4.3 inches longer and 4.3 inches taller than the Fiesta five-door hatchback, and 12.6 inches shorter than the C-Max. In Europe, it will replace the older Fiesta-based Fusion crossover.
The key feature of the B-Max is a pair of rear sliding doors. The lack of a fixed B-pillar enables easy access to the rear seats, which split and fold flat to carry oversize cargo. The Geneva concept also has a large panoramic glass roof.
When it hits European showrooms next year, the B-Max will be fitted with Ford's latest EcoBoost engine, a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder direct-injection gasoline unit that returns nearly 60 mpg and emits less than 100 g/km of CO2. The engine is fitted with an auto stop-start system to help boost mileage and lower emissions, and drives the front wheels through a six-speed twin-clutch Powershift gearbox.
The B-Max is expected to be priced in Europe from around $19,000 and will be aimed at such B-segment competitors as the Opel Meriva. The B-Max will be assembled at Ford's Craiova plant in Romania.
Edmunds.com says: Don't be surprised to see Ford reverse itself and bring the B-Max to the States once gas tops $5 a gallon here. — Paul Lienert, Correspondent