It’s a study in yellowy beige. Vinyl has been plastered over the roof. This is almost the top of the Taunus hierarchy. It finds echoes even today.
A casual Google search indicates these are very rare in this format. You can view a grainy one in action here. And if you want something comparable (but absolutely no vinyl) you need to pay €5600 and it’s for sale here.
Moving to the present, Ghia branding has been dropped by Ford. The name became tarnished by association with vehicles such as the one we have shown here. That’s not necessarily fair: by the late 80s, Ghia versions of Sierras and Granadas were acceptably plush and no more; only British motoring writers kept harping on about vinyl trim and wood-effect plastic which was optional. Mid ’00s Mondeo Ghias are really very smart indeed, with well-judged chrome details and in some cases quite special Californian burl walnut embellishments. All without appearing Rover 75-ish.
The Titanium trim level quietly replaced Ghia. Titanium has stood for cool comfort as the name suggests. In my view it’s a very accurately suggestive name for a distinct kind of high-tech, metallic-edged luxury. Ford has decided that it also wants a warmer-sounding name for its high-spec Mondeos. And Vignale steps in to replace poor old Ghia. You can read here how Ford views the Vignale versions of the Mondeo and the forthcoming Galaxy.
Ford’s European boss, Jim Farley said to AutoExpress: “Vignale is a very important part of our future strategy. We are increasingly being challenged in the mainstream sector by premium rivals who are competing for our customers.” His use of the present tense is puzzling. I think he needed to say “We have been challenged for some time by premium rivals…”. Remember the Scorpio died in 1998 because the BMW 5 series killed it. Ford Mondeo sales have been declining for a decade. This is serious.