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Kuga to be Ford’s third Vignale line

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Ford will launch an upmarket Vignale version of the Kuga SUV late in 2016.

The mid-sized SUV will line up in showrooms alongside the four-door Mondeo, the first Vignale model launched last year, the S-Max and the forthcoming five-door Mondeo and Edge versions.

Kuga Vignales will be available with four engines – petrol 1.5-litre units in 148 and 179bhp variants and 2-litre TDCi diesels of either 148 or 177bhp. All-wheel-drive will be available with the two more potent engines.

Upgrading to the Vignale specification from the mainstream Kuga includes the signature hexagonal grille and a bespoke exterior paint finish, described as pearlescent Milano Grigio, with a contrasting dark gloss on the front and rear skid plates, door panels and boot trim.

The interior gains Windsor leather again in the hexagonal design, with cashmere coloured tuxedo-style stitching on the seats and door interiors and a leather-trimmed dash instrument panel.

Ford is still to release full details of the Kuga Vignale’s specification. The Sync 3 infotainment system will be included, a standard feature on all Vignales, while the equipment list is also likely to boast such features as tri-zone climate control, a premium audio system and a host of driver aids including a wide-view camera, traffic sign recognition and a blind spot information system. All these featured on the Edge and five-door Mondeo Vignales unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Like other Vignale models the Kuga variants will be produced in a bespoke facility at Ford’s factory in Valencia, Spain – the line combining laser and camera technology with hand-finishing by craftsmen. They will be offered only at specialist dealers including the 70 UK Ford Stores which each have specialist Vignale lounges.

Adding the Kuga to its upmarket sub brand is seen as an obvious move for Ford as of the 33,000 examples sold in the UK in 2015 more than 80 per cent of customers chose the high-specification Titanium trim.

According to Ford of Europe marketing sales and service head Roelant de Waard the Kuga Vignale will meet the growing trend to luxury SUVs. “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,” he says.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.