11 April 2014

Ford unveils concept for Vignale S-MAX

Ford has unveiled a concept previewing an upscale Vignale variant of its S-MAX, writes Trish Whelan.

The S-MAX Vignale will be the second model in the trim line when it goes on sale in Europe in the second half of 2015 a few months after Ford launches a Vignale version of its Mondeo saloon.

Ford and other mass-market brands are introducing upscale lines to help boost profits by persuading more customers to choose higher-margin models.

Ford unveiled the Vignale line at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September on a Mondeo concept (pictured below). Like the Mondeo Vignale concept, the S-MAX Vignale shows design details that will be exclusive to the trim line like a distinctive hexagonal Vignale grille design and high quality leather Vignale embossed seating with hexagonal quilting. It also has all of Ford's latest infotainment technologies and tablet device-docking stations for the second row seats.

Vignale cars will be positioned above the carmaker's current Titanium top trim level but will not become a subbrand. Ford of Europe say about 10-15 percent of buyers want a higher level of spec and customer service than Ford currently offers, 'and Vignale will fill the gap'.