Ford has ‘child-proofed’ the new B-Max model with simulated child and pet ‘punishment tests’ to the fabric and plastics inside the car.
Engineers at Ford subjected the new B-Max to stringent tests that simulate the toughest treatment that children and pets can dish out – including soaking materials in milk and fizzy drinks (in order to gauge their stain resistance), testing fabrics with a ‘mace’ and pounding plastics with a heavy rubber ball.
They also used Velcro on the materials to replicate fabric snagging on children’s bags and clothing. Testing the impact resistance of the plastics involved using a rubber ball which was ten times heavier than a regulation football. We don’t think even Lionel Messi could cope with that!
Samples of all of the leathers and fabrics used in the interior of the Ford B-Max were tested for stain resistance and ease of cleaning after being left to soak for 24 hours in the aforementioned liquids, as well as being smeared with soil and grease.
The ‘mace’ test was undertaken by using a metal ball with needle-sharp spikes to brush the fabrics 600 times and replicate the effect of snagging zips and studs. Who said work couldn’t be fun?
Impact tests with the rubber ball were conducted at temperatures as low as -30 degrees Centigrade, as this is when plastic is more brittle. This is to ensure that the plastic parts within the vehicle could withstand bumps and knocks.
The fabrics were also rubbed 60,000 times (whose job is it to count that?) in a 17 hour, non-stop wear test. Metal spikes were also scraped across plastic parts to test scratch resistance and the carpets were checked for durability on a special test rig fitted with rough abrasion wheels.
Mark Montgomery, the senior materials engineer at Ford of Europe, remarked, “By testing for everything from soft drink spills to muddy boots, we’ve made sure the B-Max interior is ready for anything.”
Montgomery added, “I’ve got young children myself, so I’m very familiar with the mess they can create.”
Perhaps this is his way of showing how naughty his own children are? Nothing tells a child how messy they can be when their father goes out of his way to child-proof thousands of cars!
A new Ford B-Max is available from £12,995.
People interested in the new Ford B-Max (especially those with young kids) can contact Perrys Ford dealerships today.