The Kuga gets dressed up for Geneva

Ford has seen a marked sales increase for its higher-trimmed model. With the Kuga, for instance, four out of five examples sold in 2015 were fitted in the range-topping Titanium trim. Seeing an opportunity, Ford has debuted a new high-end trim for the Kuga at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Called the Vignale Concept, this Kuga features a unique paint and a more luxurious interior.

“Our Ford Kuga Vignale Concept speaks directly to the growing trend for luxury SUVs and represents the very best of Ford with premium design, materials and craftsmanship,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president of Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. “We see great potential to extend the top end of our Ford product range and offer a special experience that meets the growing expectations of our customers.”

For those unaware, the Kuga is basically the European version of the Escape. It has slightly different looks and is offered with different powertrain options. Perhaps is Ford may introduce a similarly well-equipped trim level on the U.S.-based Escape, though nothing was mentioned that suggests it. If that does turn into a reality, expect Ford to call it like “Platinum” or “Limited.”

Ford is expecting the SUV market to grow in Europe by seven percent by 2020, so it seems rightfully smart to prepare a wide range of trim levels, including a high-end version like the Vignale Concept.

Continue reading for the full review

Exterior

Ford has given the crossover a new look thanks to a bespoke hue of Mother of Pearl it calls Palazzo Pearl

Ford has kept the sheet metal unchanged for the Kuga Vignale Concept, but has given the crossover a new look thanks to a bespoke hue of Mother of Pearl it calls Palazzo Pearl. A darker color accents the body color on the front and rear skid plates, fog light surrounds, and door appliqués. The lower grille and fog light inserts are then colored in a glossy black hue.

Large, 19-inch, 10-spoke wheels colored in a similar satin black as the grille accents help dress up the exterior. Projector beam headlights with LED daytime running lights give the Kuga a rich street presence. Twin, chrome-tipped exhaust pipes give the impression of power, though the Kuga’s powertrain options remain unchanged.

Interior

2016 Ford Kuga Vignale Concept High Resolution Interior
- image 668334

The exterior might be nice, but Ford went further with its interior modifications. The leather seats feature a striking geometric pattern while the leather color matches that of the center section on the door panels. A black, leather-covered dashboard uses the same styling as the standard Kuga, making production seem like a close reality. The SYNC infotainment system does feature the Vignale logo on start-up, reminding occupants of the high-ranking trim level.

Drivetrain

Ford made no mention of the powertrain used with the Kuga Vignale Concept. But since this is designed as a range-topping model, we’d suspect Ford uses the range-topping engine option: the 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. The engine makes 180 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque and is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. An AWD system puts power to the ground effectively, even if the weather or muddy surfaces aren’t cooperating.

Conclusion

2016 Ford Kuga Vignale Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 668332

The addition of a high-end trim for the Kuga crossover should be a welcomed addition to Ford Europe’s SUV lineup. The market does seem hungry for higher-end vehicles, if Ford’s stats are correct. It’s not hard to believe, however, as even in the U.S., higher-trimmed vehicles are becoming evermore popular.

If Ford does move forward with the Vignale concept – which we fully expect it will – we could very well see a similarly dolled-up version come to the States. The only real disqualifier would be the possibility of the Escape stealing sales away from the Lincoln MKC. While that’s a remote possibility, Ford is likely doing its homework.

Regardless, it’s nice to see an automaker responding to market buying habits.

  • Leave it
    • * No official pricing
    • * No word if a similar trim will arrive Sateside

Press Release

The Ford Kuga Vignale Concept offers an insight into the future of Ford upscale SUVs in Europe, using as a starting point the Ford Kuga mid-size SUV that is making its European motor show debut in Geneva.

2016 Ford Kuga Vignale Concept High Resolution Interior
- image 668336

The Ford Kuga Vignale Concept is presented in Vignale Palazzo Pearl – a unique mother of pearl-inspired exterior colour – and finished with tarnished dark paint effect for the front and rear skid plates, foglamp surrounds and door appliques, and with gloss black lower grille and foglamp inserts.

The Ford Kuga Vignale Concept interior features a unique leather treatment for the seats, doors and instrument panel featuring bespoke tuxedo stitching, with leather extending to the boot floor and tailgate interior.

Window pillar interiors and headliner are enriched with Alcantara material that offers a suede-effect; the glovebox and armrest storage console are flock-lined; and the centre console offers a premium Opale dark grey pearl-effect finish.

Almost 4-in-5 of the record 102,000 Kugas sold in 2015 were high-specification Titanium models, indicating high demand for luxury variants in the SUV segment that is predicted by industry sales analyst IHS to increase to account for 27 per cent of all vehicle sales in Europe by 2020, from 20 per cent in 2014.

2016 Ford Kuga Vignale Concept High Resolution Interior
- image 668337

“Our Ford Kuga Vignale Concept speaks directly to the growing trend for luxury SUVs and represents the very best of Ford with premium design, materials and craftsmanship,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. “We see great potential to extend the top end of our Ford product range and offer a special experience that meets the growing expectations of our customers.”

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: