Ford rolls out Vignale Mondeo for upscale European buyers

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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.
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- Ford unveils production version of the new Ford Vignale Mondeo, the first new model to be introduced as part of its Vignale brand
- Every Vignale model is hand-finished by a dedicated team at Ford's new Vignale Centre in Valencia, Spain
- Ford Vignale Mondeo delivers superior refinement with European debut of Active Noise Cancellation; unique wheels, exclusive style and craftsmanship with tuxedo-stitched quilted leather interior and instrument panel
- Sophisticated technologies including Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, high-power Bi-turbo 2.0-litre TDCi and hybrid powertrains
- Vignale relationship managers to deliver services including collection and delivery for servicing and valeting; Vignale OneCall offers 24-hour customer support
- Ford Vignale Mondeo available to order at FordStores from May priced from £29,045

LONDON, April 17, 2015 – Ford Motor Company today unveiled the production version of the Ford Vignale Mondeo – the first vehicle to be introduced as part of Ford's new Vignale brand.

Each Ford Vignale model is hand-finished in a special Vignale Centre at Ford's manufacturing facility in Valencia, Spain. Available in four-door and estate bodystyles, the Ford Vignale Mondeo delivers superior refinement with the European debut of Ford's Active Noise Cancellation technology, quilted and tuxedo-stitched leather interior and exclusive Vignale Nocciola metallic paintcolour.

Customers can now use Ford's new dedicated Ford Vignale internet destination and online configurator to explore options and pricing. The Ford Vignale Mondeo will be available to order from May at new flagship FordStores opening across the UK, priced from £29,045.

The Ford Vignale Mondeo delivers advanced technologies including Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, which can reduce the severity of some frontal collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians, or help drivers avoid some impacts altogether. Powerful and fuel efficient powertrains include Ford's new 210PS Bi-turbo 2.0-litre TDCi diesel, 240PS EcoBoost petrol, and 187PS petrol-electric hybrid. Ford's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (iAWD) which automatically enhances traction and road-holding, is also available.

Vignale customers will also receive a personalised service for the duration of their vehicle ownership, supported by a Vignale relationship manager and 24-hour free-phone assistance from the Vignale OneCall service.

"Ford Vignale is the highest expression of the Ford brand in Europe, bringing together award-winning design with a unique ownership experience," said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa. "Our vision for Vignale is to create a modern, contemporary upscale experience that makes Vignale a valued part of customers' lives, starting with the Ford Vignale Mondeo, and later this year with introduction of the Ford Vignale S‑MAX."

Ford's new Vignale Service smartphone app will support customers with GPS-enabled services including Vignale Park Me, which allows drivers to record an exact location and time elapsed since parking their vehicle. Using online map data, the app can also help drivers locate fuel stations, and provides a one-touch connection with emergency services or Vignale OneCall.

Enhanced refinement and exclusive style

The Ford Vignale Mondeo delivers a whisper-quiet, smooth and comfortable ride using sophisticated technologies and an advanced chassis structure.

Ford's innovative Active Noise Cancellation system* enhances interior refinement. Using three cabin microphones, the system is able to monitor engine noise in the interior. Advanced audio technology directs opposing sound waves through the audio system to cancel out engine noise and improve cabin ambience.

The Ford Vignale Mondeo interior also features enhanced sound insulation to better isolate road noise from the cabin. Acoustic glass helps reduce wind noise to levels normally experienced only in the premium segment.

Ford's integral link rear suspension offers a smoother ride, in particular for rear seat passengers, and reduces noise levels by allowing the wheels to move further rearwards on impact with uneven road surfaces. For front seat passengers, comfort can be optimised by Ford Multi-Contour Seats with Active Motion massage function. Designed to reduce muscle fatigue, particularly during longer journeys, the seats use a system of 11 inflatable cushions to deliver an unobtrusive massaging effect for thighs and lower back.

Ford Vignale Mondeo seats are offered in exclusive Vignale leather trim. Laser-cut for high precision, the material features unique Vignale hexagonal quilting and tuxedo stitching withsoft-touch elements that extend to the instrument panel, centre console, arm-rest, and door top-rolls.

Exclusive styling extends to the exterior, where asleek, emotive design, reflecting the latest Ford global design language, offers exclusivity with details including:

- An upper grille featuring unique Vignale hexagonal design in dark matt metallic finish and with a polished aluminium surround
- A high-gloss lower grille with chrome bars
- Chrome door details
- A high-gloss finish for the windshield pillar and door mirror sail, and for the central and rear window pillars

The model's exclusive status is confirmed with dedicated 18in Vignale alloy wheels and exclusive Vignale Nocciola colour. The Ford Mondeo Vignale features metallic paint as standard, with further options including Vignale Black, Vignale Silver and premium four-coat Vignale White.

"The latest trends from the worlds of architecture and fashion combine to create an elegant place with a sense of luxury, and a feeling of timelessness for Ford Vignale Mondeo – alongside the very latest advanced technologies," said Chris Bird, design director, Global Colour, Materials and Vehicle Personalisation.

Premium technology and powertrains

The Ford Vignale Mondeo offers sophisticated driver assistance technologies and equipment that contribute to a simplified and stress-free experience, such as Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection. Also offered are:

- SYNC 2, delivered as standard and enabling drivers to operate phone, entertainment, climate and navigation systems using simple conversational language. The system can, for example, bring up a list of local restaurants with the simple voice command: "I'm hungry"
- Active Park Assist featuring Perpendicular Parking enables drivers to detect suitably-sized parking spaces and reverse hands-free into them
- Traffic Sign Recognition,delivered as standard and providing drivers with the latest detected speed limit, cancellation signs and overtaking restrictions via the instrument cluster display
- Active City Stop, which will apply automatic braking to mitigate or avoid a collision with a vehicle ahead at speeds of up to 25mph
- Ford Dynamic LED headlights, which combine the daylight-mimicking light clarity of full-LED headlamps with Ford's Adaptive Front Lighting System that adjusts the headlight beam angle and intensity to match the driving environment

An advanced Sony DAB audio and navigation system with 12 hi-fidelity speakers is also offered, and comfort and convenience are further enhanced for drivers with features including a power-adjustable, memory-equipped steering column, as well as power tailgate and heated steering wheel.

Improving safety for rear-seat passengers, Ford's industry-first Inflatable Rear Seatbelts rapidly expand in the event of an accident to disperse crash forces across a body area five times greater than that achieved by a conventional seatbelt.

The Ford Vignale Mondeo is offered exclusively with high-power engines including 2.0-litre EcoBoost petrol and TDCi diesel, and Ford's 187PS petrol-electric hybrid powertrain.

The 2.0-litre EcoBoost 240PS is offered with a six-speed automatic transmission. The 180PS 2.0-litre TDCi is offered with six-speed manual and PowerShift automatic transmissions, and with Ford's iAWD system that delivers seamless transition between front-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive performance.

Also offered is Ford's new 210PS Bi-turbo 2.0-litre TDCi engine, which enables faster response and 450Nm of torque available from 2000rpm for effortless and fuel-efficient cruising.

Handcraftedand individually tailored

Each Ford Vignale model is hand-finished by six master craftspeople at the new state-of-the-art Vignale Centre, where vehicles are individually tailored to customer specification.

The Vignale Centre at Ford's Valencia manufacturing facility blends traditional craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology. The latest laser and camera technology supports skilled eyes in closely examining quality aspects including panel alignment and paint finish, helping meet customer expectations.

Passionate about precision and attention to detail, Vignale Centre experts hand polish the paintwork and meticulously scrutinise the fine detailing of the leather, with each hide checked for flaws.

Only when it has passed 100 additional checks in addition to the rigorous One Ford quality process will the vehicle be handed over by a Vignale relationship manager in a Vignale Lounge – part of aunique premium customer experience.

Vignale Premium Ownership Experience

Delivering more than outstanding products, Vignale will also make the discovery, acquisition and ownership of a Vignale vehicle a personalised and rewarding experience.

Ford Vignale models are exclusively available to order in the UK from FordStore locations opening across the country, primarily in metropolitan areas. FordStores are dedicated to the Ford brand and offer the full range of Ford products and services, with specially-trained Vignale staff available to meet specific customer needs. Ford is initially launching 200 FordStores across Europe, including 54 in the UK by the end of 2015 and rising to around 70 in the future.

At Vignale Lounges customers can experience the Ford Vignale brand in a unique, customer-focused environment that informs and engages throughout the purchasing process and ownership. Luxurious and sensorial, the attention to detail demonstrated in the Vignale Lounge reflects that of the vehicle range. An innovative digital experience delivers information on Ford technologies and Ford Vignale products through a touchscreen table.

The signature Vignale Collection, created by the Ford Design team behind the Vignale model range, is alsoavailable to experience and order at Vignale Lounges and via a dedicated online store. The 2015 Vignale Collection, which takes design cues from the vehicle range, includes the Vignale Weekender – a luxury overnight bag awarded a prestigious iF Design award – that reflects the distinctive Vignale trapezoidal shapedgrille, quilted pattern of the handcrafted seats, and the contoured bonnet.

Also presented is a shoulder handbag, handmade from exclusive, high quality leather; a purse, money clip, iPhone sleeve, and business card sleeve; and a handmade silk scarf and silk tie crafted by artisans in Milan, Italy.

"The Vignale Collection encapsulates our passion for design that sets us apart from other brands while echoing Ford's unique design DNA," said Erika Tsubaki, creator of the Vignale Collection and design supervisor, Ford of Europe. "The latest Vignale Collection features distinctive design elements of the Vignale models, paying special attention to the high quality leather material and detailing that makes them as beautiful as the models they reflect."

Personalised service

Every Ford Vignale customer will be supported by a dedicated Vignale relationship manager to ensure a personalised service tailored to individual needs, from the first appointment at the FordStore and throughout the ownership experience.

Among bespoke services available to customers will be collection and delivery for vehicle servicing – from a home address or office location – alongside servicing scheduled to suit the owner**.

Ford Vignale consumers will also be able to call upon knowledgeable Vignale OneCall advisors 24 hours a day for additional support. Customer interactions will be a priority, whether answering a technical question, arranging a FordStore visit, resolving a customer concern or managing a service booking.

Available for Apple and Android operating systems, the free Vignale Service app also enables owners to directly access the Ford Vignale Internet destination and video content, or create an accident report.Driving tips and information, including traffic regulations for countries in the European Union, are included – as is a dealership locator.

"Ford Vignale is designed for discerning individuals for whom time is the jewel and who demand quality experiences," said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe. "Vignale ensures personalised service tailored to the customer's needs and makes them feel special from the moment they walk in the door."

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