Ford goes posh

Glossop Advertiser - - Motors -

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."

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