Ford has introduced a new range-topping variant for its flagship Mondeo sedan called the Vignale in its bid to capture a wider audience and to change the perception of its most high-end cars from premium into the more prestigious luxury strata.
Back during the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, Ford showed us the Vignale Mondeo as a concept. Despite this, we could all agree that it wasn’t far off from its production form. Its name is reminiscent of the famed Italian coachbuilder that was brought under the Ford umbrella back in 1973 as part of its acquisition of Ghia. In this new Mondeo revival guise, the Vignale name means an upgraded interior and exterior to reflect its more luxurious status.
Each car that carries the Vignale sub-brand moniker will be hand-finished and inspected in a special building at the Ford plant in Valencia, Spain called the Vignale Centre. It comes with a more lavishly appointed cabin with laser-cut leather trim with a unique hexagonal quilting that is contrasted with what Ford calls “tuxedo” stitching, massaging seats, as well as active noise cancellation and more extensive sound insulation material built into the structure.
The Sony 12-speaker sound setup to work seamlessly with the SYNC 2 touchscreen infotainment system and transmits sounds through an anti-phase frequency to drown out ambient noise. Safety features have also been upgraded to showcase the best of what the company has to offer.
Powering the Vignale Mondeo is the familiar 2.0-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost turbocharged engine that puts out 237hp and 340Nm of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. There are also two turbo diesel engine options, in 177hp or 207hp levels of tune, mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed PowerShift dual-clutch transmission. Also offered is a petrol-electric hybrid option with a combined output of 184hp.
On the outside, the Vignale Mondeo makes some changes to elevate itself above the standard car and, in this respect, it acquits itself nicely. Apart from the expected “Vignale” badges, there are unique metallic paint finishes, 18-inch alloy wheels, and chrome trim applied to accentuate key areas.
The ownership experience begins through dealerships that are equipped with Vignale Lounges where customers can spec their car (offered in either sedan or estate body styles, front or all-wheel drive). Included in the customer care package is a special companion smartphone app and a 24-hour “relationship manager” that is on-call to assist you in any way about your car during the ownership period.
Ford is taking aim at the Jaguar XF and Audi A6 with the Vignale Mondeo , with starting prices for the UK market sitting at £29,045 (approximately RM163k without the requisite tax and charges). How the world reacts to a more luxurious Mondeo is anyone’s guess, but we're hard pressed to think of many better cars to start with.