Mobile World Congress in Barcelona normally tends to yield a bumper crop of smartphones, tablets, and the egregiously-named “phablets”, but Ford has chosen the technology show to announce that it’s bringing the B-Max to Europe.
The car was originally unveiled at the 2011 Geneva motor show as a concept, but it’s now getting a full release, packed with a surprising amount of technology.
It’s a small, family-oriented vehicle, but comes with some interesting design features — including the removal of the pillars between the doors, meaning that when both the front and rear doors are open, there’s a huge cavernous gap for you to squeeze yourself into.
There are two engine options — a 1.0-litre “EcoBoost” petrol engine, and a 1.6-litre TDCi diesel engine. Opting for the former should yield impressive fuel economy of 4.9 litres per hundred km (57.6mpg), whereas the latter will give 4.0 litres per hundred km.
It has Ford’s “SYNC” voice-control technology, which lets you control a mobile phone or MP3 player over Bluetooth using your voice, and it can also place an emergency call in the event of a crash — in the local language of more than 30 countries across the continent. It covers English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Turkish, Dutch and Russian.
Sync has been available for some time in the United States, but the B-Max marks its introduction to the European market. It’ll also be rolling out onto other Ford cars later in 2012 — including the Focus, Kuga, Transit and the Fiesta.
The B-Max, however, will be the first car to see it in Europe, and will be going on sale later in 2012.