Is Ford's all-new B-Max the "right" size?


Ford is beginning production of the all-new B-Max utility vehicle in Europe with deliveries slated for September of this year. Ford sees the B-Max as it's opening salvo in the "right-sizing" of vehicles. Ford's B-Max is a small crossover but it has many "premium" features like Ford's Sync system and the B-Max's unique side doors that slide open for a large entry/exit opening (see pics after the jump) through the use of an integrated "B" pillar. The B-Max will be available with  numerous engine/transmission choices including Ford's award-winning EcoBoost three-cylinder. Is the B-Max too small for the US? Maybe. With the introduction of new sub-compacts, like Ford's own Fiesta, Chevy's Sonic, and the Fiat 500, the small car market in the US has grown. The B-Max might find quite a few homes with its blend of style and unique features. We shall see. If you think a B-Max would fit into your lifestyle, let Ford know. For more info, check out the release, spec sheet, and two videos after the jump.

Source: Ford - Press release, Euro spec sheet and videos after the jump.



Press Release:
Ford Responds to ‘Right-Sizing’ Trend with Ingenious All-New B-MAX

  • New Ford B-MAX responds to “right-sizing” trend with premium features in a compact car
  • Ford’s new B-MAX enters growing small multi-activity vehicle market. Segment expected to grow 17 percent by 2018, as up to 40 per cent of Europe’s large car drivers look to buy smaller cars
  • Ford B-MAX can carry loads of up to 2.3m long, despite being just 4.1m in length and offers class-leading 1.5m side access through innovative Easy Access Door System
Ford’s ingenious new B-MAX is the company’s response to a growing “right-sizing” trend in Europe, with production now underway for September delivery to UK dealerships.

With up to 40 per cent of Europe’s large car owners looking for smaller more efficient cars and 20 per cent of small cars owners seeking more space, it’s cars like new B-MAX in the small multi-activity vehicle market that are set to benefit.

This segment is forecast to grow by 17 per cent by 2018. Since the first compact multi-activity vehicle appeared in 2000, it has already seen rapid growth – with five competitors in the segment by 2003 rising to ten in 2008. By the end of this year twelve models are expected to be available.

“With many consumers in Europe facing financial pressures, the status symbol of owning the most expensive, biggest or fastest is taking a back seat to being a smart, savvy or sustainable consumer,” said Henry Mason of global trend experts trendwatching.com.

“European consumers are mature, urban and sophisticated. Naturally these ‘citysumers’ want cars that fit into their flexible, compact lifestyles*.”

The Ford B-MAX, assembled in Craiova in Romania, combines compact dimensions for driving in congested cities with the ability to carry loads of up to 2.3m long, while the Easy Access Door System allows for a class-leading side access of 1.5m.

Compact multi-activity vehicles have often meant unwelcome compromises in style or equipment level. A report by UK-based automotive analysts Trend Tracker states that volume car buyers tend to put “economic and practical factors” as main reasons for new car choice, while “aesthetics rather than economics are key purchasing criteria,” matter more to premium car buyers.

New B-MAX enables down-sizing without down-grading. It offers best-in-class fuel efficient engines, Ford ECOnetic Technology innovations and Ford’s premium SYNC voice control system for enhanced integration of mobile phones and music players. A soft-touch instrument panel, sophisticated ambient lighting and premium fabric trim or optional full premium embossed leather upholstery are all provided.

“B-MAX is the right response to what customers are looking for in this size of vehicle. It’s small, frugal and stylish with an equipment level to satisfy customers who are down-sizing from a larger vehicle. It’s a unique offering in the segment and a car that anyone could live with and use for all their needs on a daily basis,” said Ford’s man in charge of the B-MAX project, Klaus-Peter Tamm.

Ingenious Minds Live, inspired by the all-new Ford B-MAX

The ingenuity of the Ford B-MAX’s integrated central pillar and Easy Access Door System were highlighted at Ingenious Minds Live – a discussion led by panelists Erika Tsubaki, a Ford designer, architect and author Will Alsop, cultural trends analyst Lucy Johnston and compere Alexander Armstrong.

*http://trendwatching.com/trends/citysumers/
**Based on a survey of 5,236 volume and 2,200 premium brand car buyers intending to buy in the next 3-5 years, published in Trend Tracker’s Car Brands & Consumer Involvement Theory white paper

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford products in the UK, please visit www.ford.co.uk





Press Release:

 Ford B-MAX Specifications

Performance and Economy




Fuel consumption
l/100 km (mpg)
Performance
Engine
Power
(PS)
CO2
(g/km)
Urban
Extra
Urban
Combined
Max speed kph (mph)
0-100 kph
0-62 mph
(sec)
50-100 kph
31-62 mph
(sec)*


1.5 TDCi (5-sp man)
75
109
4.8 (58.9)
3.8 (74.3)
4.1 (68.9)
157 (98)
16.5
16.5
1.6 TDCi (5-sp man)
95
104
4.7 (60.1)
3.6 (78.5)
4.0 (70.6)
173 (108)
13.9
14.2
1.0 EcoBoost (5-sp man)
100
119
6.6 (42.8)
4.3 (65.7)
5.1 (55.4)
175 (109)
13.2
12.1
1.0 EcoBoost (5-sp man) s/s
100
114
6.0 (47.1)
4.2 (67.3)
4.9 (57.7)
175 (109)
13.2
12.1
1.0 EcoBoost (5-sp man) s/s
120
114
6.0 (47.1)
4.2 (67.3)
4.9 (57.7)
189 (117)
11.2
9.7
1.4 Duratec (5-sp man)
90
139
7.9 (35.8)
4.9 (57.7)
6.0 (47.1)
171 (106)
13.8
20.4
1.6 TiVCT (6-sp PowerShift)
105
149
8.6 (32.8)
5.1 (55.4)
6.4 (44.1)
180 (112)
12.1
n/a

* in fourth gear

DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHTS

Dimensions (mm)

Exterior

Overall length
4077
Overall width with/without mirrors
2067/1751
Overall width with folded back mirrors
1857
Overall height
1604
Wheelbase
2489
Interior

Front headroom
1017
Front max legroom (lowest rearmost seating posn)
1103
Front shoulder room
1365
Rear headroom
988
Rear legroom
939
Rear shoulder room
1356
Luggage capacity (litres)

5-seat mode, laden to package tray (with mini spare)
304
5-seat mode, laden to package tray (with tyre repair kit)
318
2-seat mode, laden to roof (with mini spare)
1372
2-seat mode, laden to roof (with tyre repair kit)
1386
Fuel tank capacity (litres)

Petrol/Diesel
48/47

‡ Measured in accordance with ISO 3832. Dimensions may vary dependent on the model and equipment fitted.



Weights


Kerb
weight
(kg)#
Gross Vehicle Mass
(kg)
Gross Train Mass
(kg)
Max. Towable Mass (braked) (kg)
Max. Towable Mass (unbraked) (kg)






1.5 TDCi (5-sp man)
1307
1780
2280
575
575
1.6 TDCi (5-sp man)
1310
1780
2280
575
575
1.0 EcoBoost (5-sp man)
1279
1760
2510
750
635
1.4 Duratec (5-sp man)
1275
1745
2345
675
635
1.6 TiVCT (6-sp PowerShift)
1308
1780
2180
480
480

# Represents the lightest kerbweight assuming driver at 75 kg, full fluid levels and 90% fuel levels, subject to manufacturing tolerances and options, etc., fitted.
Towing limits quoted represent the maximum towing ability of the vehicle at its Gross Vehicle Mass to restart on a 12 per cent gradient at sea level. The performance and economy of all models will be reduced when used for towing. Nose weight limit is a maximum of 75 kg on all models.  Gross Train Mass includes trailer weight



*Note: Fuel economy figures quoted are based on the European Fuel Economy Directive
EU 80/1268/EEC and will differ from fuel economy drive cycle results in other regions of the world (data not yet final).

Note: The data information in this press release reflects preliminary specifications and was correct at the time of going to print. However, Ford policy is one of continuous product improvement. The right is reserved to change these details at any time.