North American buyers looking for a luxury automobile from Dearborn know to turn to Lincoln, but overseas, the Ford brand itself appeals to upscale customers with its own products. The Blue Oval automaker unveiled a premium take on the Taurus for the Chinese market at the Shanghai Motor Show this weekend, and in Europe it’s rolling out the Vignale sub-brand with the model you see here.
Previewed in concept form a year and a half ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Vignale line revives the name of a storied Italian coachbuilder that Ford acquired (together with Ghia) back in 1973. Now ready for production, the first Vignale model upgrades on the Mondeo (which we know as the Fusion) with a number of high-end features.
The cabin space is altogether more luxurious, featuring high-end, laser-cut leather trim with hexagonal quilting and “tuxedo” stitching. The multi-contour front seats have a massage function, and occupants are better isolated from the road via upgraded sound insulation and active noise cancellation. The Ford Vignale Mondeo benefits from all the latest safety-convenience and infotainment technologies, including an optional Sony digital audio system with twelve speakers.
The exterior is made to look more upscale as well, with unique metallic paint finishes, special chrome trim, 18-inch alloys and the requisite special badging to set it apart from ordinary Mondeos. Buyers will be able to choose between sedan or wagon body styles, front- or all-wheel drive and from a number of engine options. There’s a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four with 237 horsepower, a 2.0-liter turbodiesel available with 177 or 207 hp, and a gasoline-electric hybrid system with 184 hp.
Each vehicle is hand-finished and individually inspected at the Vignale Centre at Ford’s plant in Valencia, Spain, and will be offered through select dealerships outfitted with premium Vignale Lounges. Customers will also benefit from access to a dedicated “relationship manager,” customer assistance operators on call 24 hours a day and a companion app, but of course none of these features come cheap: At around £30k in the UK, the price of a Vignale Mondeo comes close to that of an Audi A6 or Jaguar XF, and it’ll be up to individual buyers to decide whether the spruced-up Fusion is worth the premium. Look for a Vignale version of the S-Max to follow.