Ford goes posh
OVER the years Ford has always tried to add various ‘posh’ or slightly up-market versions of their normal model range and with considerable success.
These top-trimmed models have always proved popular while Ford has always relied on the Italians, well regarded worldwide as top car designers, to instill some flair and panache.
Back in the Seventies it was the work of the Turin Ghia studios, created by Giacinto Ghia, that created Ghia versions of the Granada, Capri, Cortina and Escort and later the Fiesta, Sierra and Scorpio.
Ford dropped the Ghia trim name in 2010 but they are now back in 2017 with yet another Italian design concept, this time created by Alfredo Vignale back in his little studios in 1948 and again in Turin, and obviously called Vignale.
Take the Kuga Vignale, starting at £31,045 and there’s a choice of petrol and diesel engines.
It’s definitely well equipped inheriting all the standard features of the slightly cheaper Titanium trim models.
Vignale specification gives adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a distinctive Vignale body kit such as mesh grille, fog lamp bezels and lots of dark chrome trim.
Inside there’s a special leather interior with leather steering wheel and seats, bixenon headlights with jet wash, a 10-way adjustable driver’s seat, rear view camera and better active park assist.
There’s also an all-wheel-drive model available with a 2.0-litre TDCi Powershift set up delivering 178bhp delivered through an exceptionally smooth six-speed automatic gearbox and costing £35,345.
This model accelerates from 0 to 62mph in 9.2 seconds with a CO2 figure of 135g/ km and will return a combined fuel consumption figure of 54.3mpg.
Other features include cruise control, hill start assist, electronic stability programme, rain sensing front windscreen wipes and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
This 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel, already used in other Ford models, is exceptionally quiet and refined and combined with that slick feeling automatic gearbox (surely the best auto box Ford has ever had) makes for smooth and comfortable driving without any quibbles or worries.
Ford is trying to make great strides in upping the quality and standard of its cars with the Vignale treatment and there’s growing demand for such luxury – something Ford is keen to exploit.
DAVID WARD YOUNG people are the most likely to own an electric vehicle and are least likely to worry about "barriers" to ownership, a new study suggests.
An AA survey of 16,500 people found that despite the fact that 76 per cent of 18-to-24-year-olds quizzed were concerned about the price of electric vehicles (EVs), five per cent of respondents said they owned one.
The number of EV owners decreased as age increased, with four per cent of 25-to-34-year-olds and one per cent of people aged 55 and over owning an electric vehicle.
Edmund King, president of the motoring organisation, said: "This may confound the 'boy racer' image that older people may have of young drivers. Although overall numbers are still low, it shows that young drivers are taking an interest in new car technology."
The research found prospective owners of all ages were concerned about a perceived lack of charging stations, durability of the battery and limited range. They also raised issues with how long it would take for the low running costs to offset the often higher purchase price of an EV.
However, King said: "In reality, these concerns are evaporating much more quickly than perhaps most people realise."