The growing market for up-scale sedans has prompted a lot of automakers to step up their game in order to keep up with the times. European car brands have no need to worry because these models are already part of their vehicular lineups.
But for an American brand, like Ford , looking to gain some traction in a market ripe with premium competitors, it needed to step up.
And step up it did.
At the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show , Ford will introduce the Mondeo Vignale Concept, a premium and luxurious take of its European midsize sedan . The concept is Ford’s answer to calls from customers asking to see if the Blue Oval can offer them a vehicle that answers their checklist of styling and quality, advanced technology, and exclusivity.
For the most part, Ford has answered that call with the intention of bringing the Vignale Concept to production in the near future, making it only a matter of time before it enters a market ripe with competition and stakes a name for itself.
Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Ford Mondeo Vignale Concept
To showcase its new and upscale Vignale line, Ford is bringing the Mondeo Vignale Concept to the Frankfurt Auto Show full of unique design touches and high-quality craftsmanship, among other things. The four-door saloon and wagon body styles have been treated to a wide range of modifications to its already impressive current design language.
The exclusive Nocciola paint finish already speaks for itself as a color that Ford should actually use on its production models. But going back to the concept, you’ll also notice the similarities to Ford’s new styling philosophy, including the angular headlights that are exactly the same as the one on the S MAX Concept. The mesh grille is a nice addition, while the unique front bumper, which has its own mesh treatment, and fog lamp design both live up to Ford’s promise of giving the Mondeo Vignale a uniqueness.
"Vignale" badging is also prominently displayed throughout the model while chrome door handles and mirror caps puts the "premium" in the model’s overall posh styling.
As with anything that’s being advertised as a step up to contemporary styling, there’s plenty of leather touches on the interior of the Mondeo Vignale Concept. In fact, high-quality, soft-touch leather extends to the steering wheel, instrument panel, center console, door-top rolls and center armrest of the cabin, proving that you can’t have enough of this fine material when you’re dealing with a concept that promises as much as the Mondeo Vignale.
Quilted trim, chrome lower moldings and leather armrests are also present on the door panels, while the exclusive seating proudly displays "Vignale" detailing. The embossed scuff plates are also a nice touch, but the luxury floor mats don’t offer any surprises because seemingly every other concept has these as part of the interior.
We like how the center-stack design, as it is ergonomic and wastes little space in accommodating all of the buttons and controls. The notable absence of distinctive buttons might be a little distracting to the driver, especially if he’s trying to reach for a specific button only to press another function. Other than that, the interior of the Mondeo Vignale Concept is pretty sweet.
No word yet on what kind of powertrain the Mondeo Vignale Concept has but based on the Mondeo heritage, we anticipate something akin to a 2.0-liter Ford EcoBoost engine that nets 240 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque, which is good enough to hit 60 mph in 8 seconds with a top speed of about 130 mph.
Pricing details haven’t been announced, but considering all the premium add-ons that have been given to the car, we expect somewhere close to a 10-percent spike in price to the standard Mondeo. That would put it around &euro30,000, which is about $40,000 based on current exchange rates.
Ford understands the importance of offering premium models in Europe, especially since higher-spec models have become pretty popular among European customers.
The expected price point of the Mondeo Vignale will be in the neighborhood of the 2013 BMW 3 Series, although the variety of engine offerings for the latter affords customers more flexibility in choosing what kind of 3 Series model they’d prefer.
One such powertrain is the TwinPower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine on the 328i, which is capable of delivering a total of 240 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and a peak torque of 255 pound-feet delivered between 1,250 and 4,800 rpm. This version can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds and up to a top speed of 130 mph.
Gallery BMW 3 Series Sedan
Another car that could be in the same level of the Mondeo Vignale is the Audi A4. In fact, a new-generation A4 is also under development; it should be ready in time for the 2015 model year and according to the first details we have, it will adopt a more dynamic design and improved technology.
Under the hood, the 2014 A4 is offered with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that includes variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust, netting an improved output of 211 horsepower to go with 258 pound-feet of torque. The model is able to hit 60 mph in 6.6 seconds with a top speed of about 130 mph.
Gallery Audi A4
The premium styling of the Ford Mondeo Vignale is a definite step up from what we’ve gotten used to with Ford. It looks like it could hold its own against its German counterparts, particularly the interior, which comes with all the bells and whistles that you can ask for in a sedan of this caliber.
The lack of information on its engine leaves some questions on how fast and powerful it can be, but in terms of its looks, you’re not going to find too many complaints from us.
- Exterior looks like a winner
- Luxury interior leaves nothing to chance
- Available in either a sedan or wagon
- No info on engine and price
- How long before a production model goes to market?
- Stiff competition
Gallery Ford Mondeo Vignale
COLOGNE, Germany, Sept. 4, 2013 – Ford Motor Company today said it plans to launch a unique upscale product and ownership experience in Europe called Vignale.
Ford provided a first glimpse of its vision for Vignale (pronounced: Vin ya le) by revealing the Ford Mondeo Vignale Concept, which offers unique design touches, high quality craftsmanship, exclusive specification and advanced technologies.
“Vignale will offer the highest expression of the Ford brand in Europe from a product and from an ownership experience perspective,” said Stephen Odell, Ford’s president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. “The Ford Mondeo Vignale Concept showcases the features that customers tell us they want in terms of styling and quality, advanced technology and exclusivity.”
Ford chose to present the new Ford Mondeo Vignale Concept with an exclusive and sophisticated four-door saloon body style, and also as a wagon; both featuring 20-inch Vignale alloy wheels with in-depth detailing and high-quality finish, “Vignale” badging, chrome door handles and mirror caps, mesh grille, unique front bumper and fog lamp design, and exclusive “Nocciola” paint colour.
The Ford Mondeo Vignale Concept also features quilted trim, chrome lower mouldings and leather armrests for door interiors, and exclusive seating with “Vignale” detailing and high-quality, soft-touch leather that extends to the steering wheel, instrument panel, centre console, door top-rolls and centre arm-rest. Embossed scuff plates and luxury floor-mats with high-quality edge wrap enhances an ambience that combines traditional coach-building with contemporary design and material trends.
Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch in-car connectivity system will enable integration of smartphones and deliver WiFi capability, while front and rear Park Assist with Rear View Camera will make parking easier and Adaptive LED headlamps will deliver enhance visibility.
Ford is continually developing its own unique take on modern luxury and design, and this year was the first auto manufacturer to participate in the world’s leading furniture design show – Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. The company’s design DNA and the influence of furniture and fashion trends was evident in the bespoke Ford Design chair, lamp and watch displayed at the event.
“Influences that range from architecture to fashion combine to create for the Mondeo Vignale Concept a sense of high quality and a feeling of timelessness – alongside the very latest advanced technologies,” said Stefan Lamm, exterior design director, Ford of Europe.
Selected Ford dealerships will offer a tailored Ford Vignale experience, which promises to deliver high service levels and stimulating, stress-free environments where customers can sample exclusive materials and colours, and discover exciting features and technologies.
The Ford Vignale vision includes providing customers with collection and delivery for vehicle servicing, a free lifetime carwash and invitations to exclusive events. Customers also could expect a dealer principal greeting on the handover of their new car, a named and dedicated point-of-contact and branded handover documents including a leather document wallet.
Ford Vignale, which starts with the Mondeo Vignale saloon and wagon in early 2015 and will be extended to further models, responds to an increasing trend towards time-saving services, and reflects demand for high-end Ford products. Higher specification models currently account for more than half of Ford’s large car sales in Europe.
Vignale is also inspired by exclusive services from beyond the world of automotive. These include VIP air-travel services that offer collection services, dedicated check-in and security and clubhouse access; and exclusive banking and credit card services with dedicated relationship managers, reward points, concierge services and partner brands such as hotel chains, restaurants and entertainment venues.
“Ford Vignale premium services will meet the needs of the customer for whom time is the ultimate luxury – and they would be made to feel special from the moment they walk in the door,” said Gaetano Thorel, vice president, Marketing, Ford of Europe.