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by Tim Beissmann

The Ford Mondeo Vignale concept will preview an upcoming premium sub-brand from the Blue Oval when it debuts at next week’s Frankfurt motor show.

Designed to deliver an “upscale product and ownership experience”, UK publication Autocar reports Ford’s Vignale sub-brand will launch in Europe from early 2015.

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Intended to appeal to “10-15 per cent of potential buyers who want an even higher specification” than the current Titanium flagship, the Vignale treatment will be applied firstly to the Mondeo before being rolled out to the new-generation versions of the S-Max people-mover and Edge SUV.

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Ford of Europe design director Martin Smith describes the Vignale design language as a “more upmarket version of Ford DNA” that employs “modern industrial design and architecture as an inspiration”.

The Ford Mondeo Vignale concept – which does not feature any Mondeo badging – features silver thatched mesh in the radiator grille and redesigned lower intakes; LED fog lights and tail-lights; chrome door handles, mirror housings, and stylised exhaust outlets; and high-gloss 20-inch alloy wheels.

The premium theme extends to the cabin where white quilted leather covers the seats and door linings, and smooth dark leather across the instrument cluster hood, centre console, steering wheel and door tops.

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The sedan features a sliding drawer in the boot while the wagon version is equipped with a branded leather carry bag.

In-car WiFi facilitating internet connectivity also comes standard, supporting Ford’s assertion that Vignale models will appeal to “time-poor, independent thinkers who want to be made to feel special”.

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Autocar reports the Vignale sub-brand will be sold out of distinct divisions within select Ford dealerships that will offer an enhanced customer experience, including free car washing and vacuuming for the life of the vehicle.

Ford Australia brand communications manager Neil McDonald says the local division has no plans to launch the Vignale sub-brand here however, revealing it has been designed to specifically target European buyers.

The Vignale name most recently appeared on Ford’s 2004 convertible concept that previewed the Focus Coupe Cabriolet. Vignale – like the better-known ‘Ghia’ – was an Italian coachbuilder whose name has been adopted by Ford and featured on high-end vehicles.




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