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by Tim Beissmann

The production version of the Ford B-MAX has been revealed ahead of its debut at the 2012 Geneva motor show in March.

But despite Australia’s growing demand for small cars, you won’t find the Fiesta-based compact MPV in local showrooms in the short term, with Ford Australia admitting the B-MAX is not on its agenda at this stage.

Ford Australia’s Sinead Phipps said the local company was focusing its efforts on the similarly sized EcoSport compact SUV, which is also based on the Fiesta platform. The EcoSport is expected to go on sale in Australia around the middle of 2013.

The B-MAX will initially be sold in Europe where there is a larger market for tall, MPV-style compact cars.

 

Like the B-MAX concept (above), which was first seen at last year’s Geneva show, the production model has no fixed B-pillars. Instead, the structurally integral vertical supports are integrated into the edges of the doors. The front doors open conventionally while both rear doors slide backwards, allowing unhindered access to the five-seat cabin.

The B-MAX will be available with the new 92kW/170Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine as well as a number of Duratorq diesel powerplants

Ford says the car will set new standards in design, offer best-in-class technological features, and provide a versatile seating system and class-leading load space.