At the Geneva motor show this year, Ford underlined its plans to create a high-end sub-brand, Vignale, which is supposed to allow it to compete with the likes of BMW and Audi in offering customers a high-end owning and driving experience. It’s a tough sell (do you really want to spend €43k on a Mondeo for instance?) but Ford says the numbers add up and is pressing ahead with expanding the Vignale range.
Ford unveiled the new Ford Edge Vignale – the company’s first entry into the upscale SUV market in Europe – and the new Ford S-Max Vignale. Ford will announce prices for the Ford Edge Vignale later this year. The Ford S-Max Vignale is available to order now.
In addition, revealed for the first time was the Ford Mondeo Vignale five-door model that will go on sale in 2017, and a concept version of a forthcoming Ford Kuga Vignale.
Ford also debuted new design options that from next year will enable customers to further personalise the exterior styling of the Ford Mondeo Vignale and Ford S -Max Vignale.
The expanded Ford Vignale model range will be available to order at FordStores across Europe, and at customers’ Ford retailer of choice. FordStores incorporate dedicated Vignale Lounges that deliver a personalised purchase experience supported by a Vignale Relationship Manager. Ford already has established 300 FordStores and expects to complete its roll-out of 500 early next year.
Ford also is introducing a new travel, event and lifestyle service that will offer Ford Vignale customers valuable offers and access to travel and lifestyle activities, including hospitality experiences at the Chelsea Flower Show in London and the F1 Monaco Grand Prix, and access to VIP premieres at the Cannes Film Festival.
“Our customers have high aspirations, and they want more from Ford. On some vehicles, our top-of-the-line Titanium specifications make up 70 per cent of all sales,” said Jim Farley, Chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe. “With Ford Vignale, we can offer them the absolute best of Ford in terms of luxury and personal service. That’s why we are expanding from Ford Mondeo Vignale to our flagship products Edge and S-MAX, with Kuga to come soon after.”
Ford is showing the Ford S-Max Vignale at Geneva in the exclusive pearlescent-metallic Vignale Milano Grigio exterior colour and in Vignale White Platinum.
The Ford Edge Vignale is shown in a rich metallic brown Vignale Ametista Scura colour, and also in Vignale White Platinum. Both vehicles deliver the signature Ford Vignale hexagonal upper grille design with dark matte finish and polished aluminium surround.
Carefully executed exterior detailing enhances exclusivity, and includes the Ford Edge Vignale’s bespoke chrome-finish foglamps; the aluminium, Vignale-embossed wrap-around applique of the Ford S-Max Vignale’s rear liftgate; and 19-inch polished aluminium wheels for both models.
The premium character of the Ford S-Max Vignale and Ford Edge Vignale interiors is heightened with hexagonal-quilted Windsor leather featuring prominent tuxedo-style stitching for the seats and door interiors, offered in light Cashmere or dark Ebony colours. Ebony leather extends to the central armrest and storage console, and to the instrument panel, which features a woven aluminium applique on the passenger side.
The new Ford Vignale Mondeo model in five-door bodystyle is presented for the first time, following the Ford Mondeo Vignale four-door and wagon models that launched last year. Ford Mondeo Vignale and Ford S-MAX Vignale customers will be offered further customer tailored personalisation options including dark alloy wheels and foglamp surrounds, and exteriors without additional chrome detailing, which are on show for the first time in Geneva.
“Ford Vignale design exudes sophistication and premium sportiness,” said Joel Piaskowski, director of Design, Ford of Europe. “For customers, Ford Vignale is a more individualistic way to enjoy luxury and express your style.”
The Ford S-MAX Vignale, Ford Edge Vignale and Ford Mondeo Vignale will feature as standard the SYNC 3 communication and entertainment system that delivers faster performance and features a redesigned 8 inch touch screen that enables pinch and swipe gestures for the first time.
Simply by pushing a button and saying “I need a coffee,” “I need petrol,” and “I need to park,” drivers can find nearby cafés, petrol stations or car parks, as well as locate train stations, airports, and hotels. The system then guides the driver to the selected destination via the navigation.
Further sophisticated technology includes Ford Active Noise Control,* which uses three microphones strategically placed throughout the cabin to monitor engine noise in the interior, and directs opposing sound waves through the audio system to cancel out engine noise and improve cabin ambience. Powerful, fuel efficient engine options include Ford’s 210hp bi-turbo 2.0 litre TDCi diesel.
The Ford Kuga Vignale Concept offers an insight into the future of Ford upscale SUVs in Europe, using as a starting point the Ford Kuga mid-size SUV that is making its European motor show debut in Geneva.
The Ford Kuga Vignale Concept is presented in Vignale Palazzo Pearl – a unique mother of pearl-inspired exterior colour – and finished with tarnished dark paint effect for the front and rear skid plates, foglamp surrounds and door appliques, and with gloss black lower grille and foglamp inserts.
The Ford Kuga Vignale Concept interior features a unique leather treatment for the seats, doors and instrument panel featuring bespoke tuxedo stitching, with leather extending to the boot floor and tailgate interior.
Window pillar interiors and headliner are enriched with Alcantara material that offers a suede-effect; the glovebox and armrest storage console are flock-lined; and the centre console offers a premium Opale dark grey pearl-effect finish.
Almost 4-in-5 of the record 102,000 Kugas sold in 2015 were high-specification Titanium models, indicating high demand for luxury variants in the SUV segment that is predicted by industry sales analyst IHS to increase to account for 27 per cent of all vehicle sales in Europe by 2020, from 20 per cent in 2014.