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The easy access doors are really what make the B-max an interesting product. The B-pillar has been replaced by high strength steel which is capable of handling five times the amount of stress as the conventional design. This allows for the entire side on the B-max to be open thanks to rear sliding doors. “Door systems like this have been a designer’s dream for many years,” says Stefan Lamm, the exterior design director at Ford of Europe. When fully opened, the side doors offer an expanse that is just under five feet of unobstructed luggage loading glory.
While the B-max will not be making its way to North America, we hope that this unique engineering will eventually find its way into some North American cars.
GALLERY: Ford B-Max
Ford is planning to blitz the auto-market for the first quarter of 2012. According to a source inside Ford, no less than eight all-new or refreshed models will start production for Q1.
Ford’s largest project is the all-new midsize Fusion/Mondeo, which is currently scheduled to start production in January. Ford hopes for a 50-percent sales improvement for the Fusion in North America, which may help it exceed the 30,000 units per-month sales mark. With a new Fusion comes a new Fusion Hybrid and Ford is targeting an impressive 47 to 48-mpg rating in the city.
Also coming is a new Escape, which is being replaced by the Ford Vertrek Concept, with production out of the Louisville, Kentucky plant. The C-Max Hybrid will also begin production later this year.
The 2013 Taurus, which debuted back at the New York Auto Show in April with a face lift and new base 4-cylinder engine, will also launch during the first quarter of 2012. The Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS and MKT will also gain face-lifts during the Q1 for a more modern look.
Ford will re-ignite the hot hatch segment in Q1 with a new Focus ST that will feature a 247-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
Both the Ford Taurus Police Interceptor and and Explorer “PI” will replace the Crown Victoria and the Lincoln MKT Town Car will replace the Lincoln Town Car.
Europe will gain the all-new B-Max and South America will gain the EcoSport. The B-Max will come equipped with the highly anticipated turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine.
By the end of 2012, the oldest vehicles in the Ford lineup will be the Ford Edge and the Lincoln MKX, which recently underwent major overhauls themselves
[Source: Ford Inside News]
Ford has officially confirmed that its new ultra-efficient smallest ever engine, a 1.0-liter three-cylinder Ecoboost unit will be placed in the new B-Max MPV.
Ford claims that its new 3 cylinder engine, ”delivers the same performance as a four-cylinder, but with much higher fuel economy and lower emissions”.
The three cylinder engine was developed by engineers at Ford’s Technical Centre in Essex and will likely be used in Ford’s small cars such as the Ka and Fiesta.
“No one has ever built a three-cylinder engine quite like this.It’s one of the most technically advanced and efficient engines we’ve ever designed,” Joe Bakaj, Ford’s global powertrain engineering chief said. “The new engine introduces many new technologies that could be part of the DNA of future Ford engines.”
Engineers “focused on improving thermal efficiency and reducing friction of the engine’s internal moving parts, especially during warm-up”, according to Ford, and the three-cylinder powerplant “introduces many new technologies that could be part of the DNA of future Ford engines”.
Along with Ford’s impressive new engine, the American automakers has confirmed it will begin production later in the year of a new electronic continuously variable transmission (e-CVT). This transmission will be designed specifically to be used in its hybrid vehicles.