New 2012 Ford B-MAX Opens Up to Us, Shows its Sliding Doors

Ford continues the slow strip tease of its all-new B-MAX small MPV prior to the production model’s grand premier at the 82nd Geneva International Auto Salon in the beginning of March.

This time we get a full-blown photo of the B-MAX’s innovative hinged front doors and sliding rear doors that integrate the central body pillars, which Ford called “Easy Access Doors”.

The design allows for 1.5-metre (close to 5 feet) wide unobstructed openings on either side of the B-segment multi-activity vehicle.

“Door systems like this have been a designer’s dream for many years,” said Stefan Lamm, exterior design director, Ford of Europe. “We have taken the concept from an idea on a designer’s sketch pad, to a stylish and versatile product on the showroom floor.”

To make sure that the car offers the same crash protection as any other vehicle with a B-pillar, especially in the event of a side impact, Ford’s engineers used special ultra-high-strength steels that provide up to five times the strength of conventional mild steel in key parts of the body and doors, without adding extra weight.

“We engineered the body to keep all the benefits of the new door concept, while making the structure strong, stiff and light,” said Darren Palmer, Product Development Quality Director, Ford of Europe. “Creating a strong, stable body is great for handling. The B-MAX is just as stiff as the latest Fiesta, and will be just as fun to drive too.”

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