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A CAR LIKE AN ATHLETE

Claudio Messale is Ford Vignale’s exterior designer, the person responsible for the look of the new Ford Kuga Vignale and Ford Edge Vignale.

About 10 years ago, Claudio Messale and his colleagues designed the first Ford S-MAX. Today, he still drives an S-MAX, although it’s the most luxurious version: the Ford S-MAX Vignale. Naturally. Because Claudio Messale has been part of the Ford Vignale design team from the very start.

As a boy, though, Claudio never dreamed of being a car designer. He dreamed of becoming a painter. But his older brother wanted nothing else than to be a car designer. “He was a car freak,” says Claudio. “I was influenced by him and I started to sketch cars as well. He said: ‘You do it much better than me. Try to go to a car design academy.’” So Claudio left his native Rome to study car design in the 1970s in Turin, northern Italy, where there were many famous car design studios. He started working for one, Ghia, owned by Ford. Then he moved to Dearborn, Michigan, Ford’s global headquarters, before returning to Europe in 2000 as a designer for Ford in Cologne.

Ford Vignale Lifestyle Claudio Messale, the designer

Around 2005, Ford started its kinetic design programme, with its bold, dynamic lines and taut surfaces. It visualises energy in motion. That is, Claudio says, what every Ford passenger car should look like: fast, dynamic and, above all, athletic.

Even SUVs, like the Ford Kuga and Ford Edge, models he designed with his colleagues? Claudio says: “The SUVs are a bit more muscular. You can also compare them with an athlete but a little more of a bodybuilder. They are sporty, powerful and bold.” With his colleagues, Claudio recently worked on the exterior design of the Ford Kuga Vignale and Ford Edge Vignale. In fact, he has worked on the designs of every Ford Vignale model. Vignale, he says, is more than a design, more than a line-up of high-end cars. They are a statement of the best craftsmanship. The leather, for instance, is of the highest quality. So is the special paint. But there are also the special services… It is the whole Ford Vignale experience.

In creating the Ford Kuga Vignale and Ford Edge Vignale, the exterior design team kept the Vignale elegance but played up the grille and skid plates a little to give both SUVs “a stronger face”.

When you see these two cars, you see a Vignale but also an SUV. Vignale is a family now and, as in every family, each one has its own personality.

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