Here’s something you probably didn’t realise. The vast majority of Fords sold in the UK, and indeed Europe, are top-spec Titanium/Titanium X models, right across the board from Fiesta to Galaxy.
In the case of the Mondeo, that means people are perfectly happy to pay upwards of £30,000 for a car with all the bells and whistles. This has led Ford to reach for a higher market with a new line of even plusher Vignale models.
Incidentally, Vignale was one of the best Italian coachbuilding firms during the Fifties; Ford acquired the rights to the name when it bought Ghia.
The Mondeo Vignale is distinguished by a new grille, lots of chrome and high-gloss details and 18-inch wheels. Inside there’s ‘multi-contour’ massaging seats upholstered in quilted leather and soft-touch materials on the instrument panel and centre console. Diesel models get active noise cancellation tech, which generates opposing sound waves through the stereo to drown out the engine.
Only high-power engines are available. Diesels come with 178bhp or 207bhp; the 237bhp EcoBoost turbo is the only petrol option, or there’s the 185bhp hybrid. The entry-level diesel comes with a manual gearbox as standard, with both an automatic ‘box and four-wheel-drive (auto only) optional. Everything else is auto and front-wheel-drive. Every version comes in saloon or estate form, apart from the saloon-only hybrid. Economy and emissions are the same as elsewhere in the Mondeo range, the hybrid performing best at 99g/km of Co2.
Standard kit includes SYNC2 infotainment with voice controls, adaptive LED headlights, autonomous emergency braking, end-on and parallel park assist, satnav, DAB radio, 12-speaker stereo, etc etc.
The new S-MAX is next in line to receive the Vignale treatment, going on sale towards the end of this year. Vignale is restricted to the larger cars in Ford’s catalogue: the next-gen Galaxy MPV and Edge SUV will follow in due course.
Vignale models will be available through 54 UK dealers (rising to 70 by the end of the year) with a dedicated Vignale Lounge. Owners will have access to a 24-hour helpline, special apps and a collection and delivery service for maintenance. Company car user-choosers are the main target market, but it may well attract retail buyers put off by the German premium brands.
The Ford Mondeo Vignale goes on sale in May, priced from £29,045 for the 178bhp diesel manual saloon.