Geneva LIVE: Ford B-Max concept

Leftlane has been tracking the development of Ford's smallest CUV yet for some time, and the small hatchback has finally debuted at the Geneva show.

Ford has unveiled its Fiesta-based B-Max people hauler at the Geneva Motor Show. As its names implies, the B-Max will slot beneath the C-Max and S-Max MPVs.

The B-Max strongly resembles both the Fiesta and the larger C-Max vehicles' kinetic design language, albeit in a slightly different package. Compared to the Fiesta, the B-Max is 4.3 inches longer and taller, while compared to the C-Max it is 12.6 inches shorter in length.

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What's unique about the B-Max?
For starters, Ford points to the B-pillar-less design and sliding rear doors, which it says, offering ease of access that equates to a nearly five-foot wide opening. Despite the lack of a B-pillar, Ford says that the significantly reinforced doors allow for crash test results on par with a standard arrangement.

Although Ford is billing this small MPV as a concept car, the very production-like design and functional layout suggests this is more than a concept. Ford has also said that this concept provides, "an early preview of exciting innovations from Ford in the European small-car market." The folks behind the Blue Oval also stated that this vehicle was developed with Europe's love for small wagons and MPVs in mind, not America's love for sedans - so don't expect to see the B-Max state-side any time soon.

Power is expected to come from a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine with Start/Stop. The naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder found under the hood of the Fiesta is also likely to find its way under the hood of the B-Max.

Watch for the B-Max to enter production in 2012 as a 2013 model.

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