Ford B-Max Concept: 2011 Geneva Motor Show

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Highlighting Ford's innovative vision for the small car market. That's how the Blue Oval is pitching its production-ready compact MPV concept, the B-Max, ahead of its official unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show.

The production ready part is a certainty--this is no concept car. Ford says it previews "exciting innovations" for the European small car market. No word of U.S. sales is to be found in the press release. That becomes even clearer when you hear about the powertrain: a 1.0-liter three cylinder turbo.

You'd expect such a tiny, Europe-bound engine to burn diesel, but it doesn't: it's all gasoline, or petrol as they like to call it over there. The B-Max also features auto start-stop, direct injection, and twin independent variable cam timing to produce a highly-efficient and low-carbon mill.

If the B-Max looks familiar to you, there's a good reason for that: it's based on a slightly elongated version of the Fiesta's platform. The sliding rear side doors open to reveal an absent B-pillar. Normally, you'd expect this to be a feature of a pure concept car, not a production-intent preview model, but the -pillars are actually cleverly hidden in the four doors, creating a rigid crash structure once the vehicle is closed.

We'll have the live shots for you tomorrow, along with our up-close impressions, and possibly even word from Ford officials as to whether the B-Max might have some Stars & Stripes in its future. Stay tuned.

Hit page two to read the full, florid Ford release.

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