Ford launches three models to the Irish market

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It wasn't just the Irish Rugby team who were keeping busy at Carton House today - Ford Ireland where keeping themselves active in Maynooth as they launched three all-new cars to the Irish market. Today saw the launch of the all-new Galaxy, S-Max and Mondeo Vignale.

Mondeo Vignale
First up is the Mondeo Vignale. What is it? Well, from a distance it looks like a regular Mondeo, but when you get a little closer you realise that it’s so much more glamorous. Vignale is a new range of “upscale” products from Ford. We’re told that each model is hand-finished by craftspeople and that their process includes an additional 100 quality checks than the normal Mondeo.

The upper grille now takes on a hexagonal (nearly Kia-like) design, whereas the lower grille houses chrome bars. The finish to the body is impressive and all of this is aided by extra chrome details surrounding the grille, the exhausts and the doors. Another nice touch is the “Vignale” signature on the boot.

The Mondeo Vignale is available with saloon or estate body styling. It comes with Ford’s Active Noise Cancellation, Pedestrian Detection and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. The car is powered by bi-turbo 2.0 TDCi engines.

Prices for the Mondeo Vignale are not what one would describe as cheap. At entry level, customers can expect to pay €43,900 for a six-speed manual offering 180PS. The most expensive model is an all-wheel drive 6-speed automatic estate version that costs from €50,405. However, this is a more premium product from Ford and we’re told that “Vignale customers also receive personalised service tailored to their needs for the lifetime of their vehicle ownership, supported by a Ford Vignale Relationship Manager and 24 hour free‑phone assistance from the Vignale One Call service.”

With the Vignale range one would have to ask if this is Ford planting the seeds to a break-off luxury line that will stand alone – like the way Citroen now has DS, and Toyota has Lexus. The next model to receive the Vignale treatment on the Irish market will be the S-Max, which is expected to land next year. The Mondeo Vignale is now available to order.

S-Max
Next on show was the all-new S-Max. Starting from €35,760, the new seven-seat “sports activity vehicle” will be the first Ford in the world to feature their new Dynamic LED Headlamps with Glare-Free High beam. Like other manufacturers, Ford are investing a lot of effort in their lighting technology and the idea behind this is that their cars will maintain “maximum illumination without distracting other road users”.

The new S-Max also features Ford’s “Intelligent Speed Limiter”. When turned on, this technology automatically picks up the speed limit of where the car is driving by reading road signs. The driver can choose to allow a speed tolerance of up to 10km/h over the speed limit and the car won’t let the driver to exceed that speed.

 

Two trims will be on offer with the new S-Max; Zetec and Titanium. Under the longer bonnet is a choice 2.0 TDCi engines offering between 120PS and 210PS, and a 1.5 EcoBoost offering 160PS. Prices for the new S-Max start from €35,760 (2.TDCi with 120PS in Zetec trim) and stretch up to €48,435 (2.0TDCI with 180PS, Powershift transmission and AWD).

Galaxy
The last model on display today was the new Ford Galaxy. If the S-Max isn’t big enough for you, you might be impressed to hear that this is one of those rare vehicles where you could actually fit seven adults – comfortably enough. The last car I was able to say that about was the new Kia Sorento.

Like the S-Max, the Galaxy also benefits from the Intelligent Speed Limiter. As you’d find in the new Skoda Superb, the Galaxy features what they call the “Hands-Free Liftgate” – this allows users to open the boot by using a kicking motion under the rear bumper – great for when your hand are full of shopping.

Powertrains will include the 2.0 litre TDCi 120, 150, 180 and 210 PS units, as well as the 1.5 litre 160PS EcoBoost petrol engine.

Prices for the Galaxy start from €38,760 (2.0 TDCi with 120PS) and stretches to €52,035.

Unfortunately, due to personal time constraints, I did not have the opportunity to test drive any of the above three vehicles at the launch event today, but test drives have been booked for the coming months. Above is some of the information made available to me at the press event.

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