B-Max has twin rear side sliding doors like its big brother the Grand C-Max

B-Max has twin rear side sliding doors like its big brother the Grand C-Max

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Ford on Monday said its new B-Max MPV, to be unveiled as a 'concept' at the Geneva show on Tuesday, has a unique new body design with integrated B-pillar construction and twin sliding doors, claimed to be production ready and promising "unique appeal in the segment".

Benefits include outstanding access to the front and rear, unmatched convenience and flexibility, and outstanding safety, the automaker said.

Engine options will include an ultra-low CO2 powertrain one-litre, three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine and auto start-stop.

“Ford has a proven history of bringing innovation and style to the multi-activity vehicle market,” said Ford Europe chief Stephen Odell.

The B-Max is based on Ford’s global B-car platform – shared with the new Fiesta – and is slightly more than four metres in length or just 11cm longer than the Fiesta five-door, and is 32cm shorter than the new C-Max. It is 11cm taller than a Fiesta.

“With the B-MAX we set out to create a vehicle that captures the spirit of a smaller S-Max,” said design head Martin Smith. “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.”

With both front and rear doors open there is a huge, clear aperture measuring over 1.5m 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 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 2.35m in length.