For Sale By:Private Seller
Drive Type: M
Number of Doors: 2
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Interior Color: Black
Washington, Oklahoma, United States
Back in the day, Vignale was a carrozzeria of the highest order, alongside the likes of Pininfarina, Bertone and Zagato. But like Giugiaro-ItalDesign and Ghia, it has since been subsumed into a larger auto group. Ford ended up with it under its umbrella when it took over De Tomaso, and has since used the moniker for a number of concept cars. Now the name is back in the form of a new upscale sub-brand for the European market.
The first new model to receive the Vignale treatment is the Mondeo, which Ford unveiled here at the Frankfurt Motor Show in both sedan and wagon forms. Positioned above the Titanium trim, the Vignale model gets such special touches as chrome trim and a quilted leather interior, Vignale badges replacing any mention of the Mondeo on which it's based. It also gains an ownership experience - including free car washes for life! - to befit the upscale positioning.
Under the bright spotlights above the show floor, the Nocciola metallic brown paint might not be the most photogenic, but will likely give the Vignale edition a more premium look when it hits European dealers and roads in 2015. Whether it'll be worth however much Ford asks for it, however, remains to be seen. Scroll down below for the official press release.
Highly intrigued, we recently visited a Southern California Gas Company office to check out several hybrid vehicles promising something new. Unlike more commonplace gasoline-electric hybrids, we were there to evaluate innovative gasoline-compressed natural gas (CNG) hybrids - yes, they run on unleaded gasoline and compressed natural gas. According to the experts on hand, this arrangement delivers extended range and reduced emissions while chipping in with lower operating costs than pure-gasoline vehicles. There are advantages over its gasoline-electric counterparts, as well.
The program is part of a three-way collaboration between The Carlab, a Southern California-based automotive consulting firm, Landi Renzo USA, a company specializing in alternative fuel solutions, and America's Natural Gas Alliance, a group that promotes CNG. Long story short, the team has engineered a way to allow a modified internal combustion vehicle to seamlessly switch between two fuels (gasoline and CNG) with no driver intervention. In theory, and if it works as well as promised, it's a win-win for the vehicle owner and the environment.
Parked at the Gas Company office were six different gasoline-CNG hybrid vehicles. To demonstrate the technology's versatility (just about any gasoline vehicle may be modified) Carlab brought a varied assortment of bodystyles, each from a different automaker. After taking a quick glance at the half-dozen in the parking lot, we made a beeline for the performance-oriented Ford Mustang GT - a 2012 model - with the six-speed manual gearbox.
Alan Mulally has emerged as a hero when it comes to American manufacturing. He came to Ford in 2006 after serving as head of Boeing's commercial aircraft division, streamlined operations, sold off the costly elements of its Premier Automotive Group and saved Ford from having to be bailed out by the federal government like its cross-town rivals Chrysler and General Motors did. But as we reported mere days ago, he's widely expected to step down from the chief executive's office at Ford shortly.
So what's next for one of the most successful executives in the business? Hard to say, but don't expect Mulally to disappear into retirement. Though he didn't ultimately take the top job at Microsoft, industry insiders expect to see him in another influential position - likely as a board director or even chairman of another company. (We say "another company" and not Ford because while Bill Ford may have stepped aside as CEO to bring Mulally on board in the first place, we don't see him giving up his chairmanship of the board also.)
Mulally has likely already lined up his next move, and could either announce what that move will be as soon as Ford confirms Mark Fields as his successor, or could wait awhile. Insiders speculate that he could leverage his transportation and aerospace experience into a position at General Electric or a major airline, his manufacturing expertise to benefit a company like Procter & Gamble or his management skills at a consultancy firm.