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back to article Ford intros tech'd-up B-Max mini-MPV

Reg Hardware Mobile Week Ford has taken the wraps off the B-Max - the first new class of car it has released for six years - and revealed it'll be the first vehicle to sport the car company's Sync voice-controlled in-car connectivity system. Ford B-Max mini-MPV Showing the vehicle off at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) …

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New Class ?

Not sure about "New Class". I've heard it said that the B-Max is a replacement for the long-in-the-tooth Ford Fusion - once described by a Mr Hammond as "a Fiesta in a hat".

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Urgh

That's one fugly interior.

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WTF?

Spectacular

So, my thoughts as I run through the article;

"Wow, nice lines. Looks like a C-Max, a good thing in my book."

"Practical, real-world application of sliding doors. I could really value that!!"

"Nice from the front too, headlights have good lines."

"Sync sounds cool, and I like the idea of a decent hifi in a family car. It's been too long driving my POS Renault Megane Estate!"

"OH MY SWEET SANITY LOOK AT THAT DASHBOARD - MY EYES!!! MY EYES!!! I mean, WTF? THAT IS THE FUGLIEST DASH I HAVE EVER SEEN!!!! Looks like the centre console is giving birth to a Cylon; seriously, it does - must check again just to be sure..."

"MY EYESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!"

(Note to Ford: might be an idea to pay your designers a leeeetle bit more, don't you think? And maybe recruiting them from Ssangyong to save a few cents wasn't quite the bargain it seemed at the time? Just a thought... )

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Stop

Look, Ford...

stop pissing about with this boring stuff and get on with the new Puma you've been promising for years.

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Mushroom

This.

It's about time that the manufacturers of the world gave us something to set our hair on fire to. Oh, the heady days of the Escort Cosworth.

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Re: This.

Cossy? Pfft. Let's go back to the start and have the Lotus Cortina back. Or at a push a MkII RS1800.

<wanders of slobbering round the mouth...>

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It's what's on the inside that counts

And it looks as rank as the new Focus. Such a shame.

Now, put the 2.0l Ecoboost in it and I might reconsider.

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Focus

This'll be the same as the Focus. All this great-sounding new kit, and absolutely none of it will be standard.

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Anonymous Coward

Chris Bangle strikes again

What is it with Ford still aping the corporate look of BMW from about a decade ago now. Just because you can press a large hollow form doesn't mean you need to incorporate it into every single panel on the car. You have the technology to do it; we've got that now. Now move on and let's see something new.

On the plus side: neat bit of packaging with those rear doors: only about 15" of travel, but it looks so cavernous.

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FAIL

"litres per 100km"?

What's that in English, please?

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Re: "litres per 100km"?

Exactly - every single time I read a "litres per 100km" figure my brain seems to fail and I need to convert to 'miles per gallon' to make any sense of what is trying to be said. Total stupid use of metric values if you ask me.

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FAIL

Re: Re: "litres per 100km"?

Firstly, El Reg can't use miles per gallon as the US has only 3.5 litres (approx.) to the US Gallon, while the UK has 4.5 litres (approx.) to its own gallon.

The SI Litre, on the other hand, is an international standard.

As for interpreting them: to paraphrase El Reg's own most frequent image caption: "Smaller numbers are better". How hard is that?

Also, this: http://mpg.webix.co.uk/

(Seriously, how hard is it to use the internet? And you call yourselves IT people! Pah!)

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Anonymous Coward

Google can help:

Enter

10.5 litres per 100 km in miles per us gallon

(or 'imperial gallon' if required)

...and it gives you the answer.

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Pint

Re: Re: Re: "litres per 100km"?

Hehe - yes Sean, I understand your point but even "km per litre" would make more sense to me than "litres per 100km". Easy maths I know - but it would be more readable to me.

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Mushroom

Re: Re: Re: Re: "litres per 100km"?

Ahem, see here: www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=257

Litres/100km does make more sense when comparing products as it makes for a linear scale.

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Re: "litres per 100km"?

I'm all for metric, but can't we at least use the Japanese format, which is KM/L (Kilometers per litre). Thats much easier to quantify than L/100km.

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Anonymous Coward

Interior

I have a new Focus and the 2d photos don't do the dash justice. The first thing anyone comments on when getting into the car is how impressive the centre console/dash looks.

The overall quality is very high - but the door trim is a bit plasticy.

I also had a Mk1.5 focus (facelift and Ghia) and the dash looked like an afterthough - like someone had just chucked buttons at it.

But then commentards seem to always prefer the "old school" - everything new is garish and overly complicated.

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Anonymous Coward

I have kids and regularly need to transport lots of stuff about. So I am presumably the target market for this car. But it's not really big enough for two pushchairs and luggage. Also 1 litre is not enough engine for a car loaded up with a family and all that stuff.

The ideal workhorse for someone with kids and stuff to transport is a large estate car with a large engine (and a roof rack and a trailer hitch). I have no use for a mini-MPV with a toy engine.

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Eh?

1 litre engines can put out a lot of power compared to ten years or so back.

My 14-year-old FIAT Punto has a 16-valve 1.2 litre engine rated at 86 hp. By modern standards, it's rather puny, but it has great acceleration and will pull me uphill at 75 mph. without complaint, even when I have two passengers and shopping for _two_ families in the back!

A 1 litre engine today can easily outrun it, without the need for that expensive, (and very inefficient), 16-valve equipment. My car barely manages 30 mpg on a good day, which is a pain as petrol is now at €1.85 / litre round these parts. I think I'll be trading it in for a diesel later in the year. (Assuming I can put enough money aside.)

I'd avoid a big MPV as they tend to give pretty poor fuel economy: they're about as aerodynamic as a brick when fully loaded and their engines are often small too. Just get a diesel estate car—I'd go with a Skoda Octavia or the larger (but more expensive) Superb. Good cars to drive, boot spaces measured in hectares and they've got VW behind them. The only down-side is that servicing can be a bit expensive: They're basically 'stretched' versions of Volkswagen's Golf and Passat models, so you're paying German car prices for parts and servicing. (I learned to drive in a Fabia, and owned an Octavia myself when I lived in the UK, so this is from first-hand experience.)

I'll say this for FIAT: their newer cars are built well, sip petrol daintily with their pinkies sticking out, while costing peanuts to maintain. It's only their older models that let the side down in the fuel economy department, but then, so do most rival models too.

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Z80

That EcoBoost engine is no ordinary 1.0 litre. Check out the figures.

My favourite detail is that the turbo can spin at up to 248,000 rpm.

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Happy

@Z80...I'm confused?

Car power is cool but can a turbo really do 248,000rpm? That is extremely very fucking impressive if so? I wonder what it's weight and diameter are as well actually?

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Re: Eh?

Yeah - but

It's a Ford so not going to be cheap and people may expect some 3 year resale value. 3 years of family MPV use is probably going to pretty much kill such a tiny engine.

Still - it seems to be the modern way to build cars that will be dead in five years max. I guess there isn't a scarcity of resources or money as we keep getting told.

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Z80

Re: @Z80...I'm confused?

A quick search turned up a diameter of 38mm for the turbine.

Source: http://www.sae.org/mags/aei/10714/

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Security?

It looks like sync's security has already been cracked...

http://www.electronista.com/articles/11/07/28/car.systems.such.as.onstar.sync.more.hacked/

Has anyone found a copy of that presentation anywhere?

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Sly
FAIL

It's a Mazda 5...

with the B pillar moved from body to door.

Still has useless visors.

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Button-tastic

...ok, how many buttons, knobs and dials are there? It's like the bloody space shuttle in there.

And do you *really* need all of these to drive a car?

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