The new Ford B-MAX comes with a new and ingenious easy access door system which provides access for passengers and luggage.
The system integrates the central body pillars into the doors to create 1.5-metre wide unobstructed openings on either side of the car. As you see in the picture above, the omission of the B-pillar has a profound effect on the ease of access.
Removing the pillar was a challenge for the designers and engineers, so they moved the high-strength body-structure from the central body pillars and integrated it directly into the doors to ensure excellent crash protection, particularly in the event of a side impact. What’s more, ultra-high-strength steels has been used in key parts of the body and doors, providing five times more rigidity than normal steel.
Ford says it’s a been dream for many years achieving such design with no comprise on safety. The process involved intense testing and analysis at every stage. More than 1,000 detailed computer simulations were conducted over three years to optimize side impact crash performance; each simulation taking 24 hours to complete and using the equivalent computer-power of eight high-end PCs.
“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.”
“The door concept means you can load really large items, more than 2.3 meters long, through the side doors,” said Ernst Reim, Chief Interior Designer, Ford of Europe. “This makes a trip to the furniture store, or even a day at the beach with your surfboard, more realistic.”