Those of you who first saw the Ford B-Max concept car in Geneva earlier this year would love this: the motoring press has published the first spy shots of the production version and first indications are that it will look very similar to the concept model - even down to the rear sliding doors.
The rest of the styling is virtually identical to that of the concept car. Apart from the rear sliding doors the B-pillarless body shell has also been retained. The engineers managed this by utilising ultra high-strength boron steel for the doors and by fitting additional safety interlocks between the body structure and the door panels.
The design of the B-MAX was, of course, originally based on the Fiesta, but the end product is taller than the hatchback and also a full ten centimetres longer - providing significantly more interior space.
Under the bonnet things are quite different to the Fiesta: the F-Max will be the first Ford to get the much talked-about three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine. This unit made its debut in the Start concept car at the Beijing Expo last year. It features intelligent variable direct injection, and a single turbocharger.
The B-Max is a rear-wheel drive car using Ford's unique six-speed dual clutch Powershift transmission. With the aid of stop-start the vehicle's emission levels are kept to 90 gram per kilometre and at 70 miles per gallon, fuel economy certainly leaves little to be desired.
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