Every year the auto show circuit is packed with concept cars (usually crossovers and minivans) that do away with the B-pillar to tease us with easy access and a wide aperture to the cabin. It’s what Ford’s European exterior design director Stefan Lamm calls “a designer’s dream”. But none of them ever make it into production. That is, until now.
Ford first showed off a compact MPV concept called the B-Max at the Geneva Motor Show last year that, like many others, did without a B-pillar altogether. Earlier this month, the Blue Oval automaker announced it was putting the Fiesta-based minivan into production â€“ and that the pillar would stay out. But this is the first image we’ve received of the production B-Max with its wide-opening doors actually, you know…open.
The combined aperture of the conventional front-hinged doors and sliding rear doors, unencumbered by the pillar you’d usually expect to find there, comes in at a whopping 1.5 meters (nearly five feet) wide â€“ nearly twice that of the Opel Meriva with its innovative rear “suicide” doors â€“ and is made possible by strategic use of high-strength steel incorporated into the doors.
Follow the jump for the full press release and stay tuned for the vehicle’s debut at the upcoming Geneva show. While we might hope for the Easy Door Access System to find its way into Ford’s American offerings in the near future, we wouldn’t expect to find the B-Max you see here in U.S. showrooms any time soon.