What would Henry Ford have thought of the luxurious new Focus Vignale The father of the motor industry founded his mighty company on the Model T, an innovative no-frills car that became an American must-have.

Introduced in 1908, ten years later half of all cars in the US were Model Ts, and by the1920s most drivers there had learned to drive in this simple motor. They rolled off the assembly line until 1927, with a final total production of 15million.

The Focus Vignale (pronounced: vin-ya-lay) represents an unimaginable quantum leap from Mr Ford’s debut car, and I reckon the automotive genius, ever the innovator, would love it.

It sits at the top of the all-new Focus range, joining the upscale models that already include Mondeo, S-MAX, Kuga, Edge and Fiesta Vignale models.

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The car features a wealth of detail, including chrome lower mouldings, leather armrests, and exclusive seating with tasteful Vignale badging and high-quality, soft-touch leather that extends to the steering wheel, instrument panel, centre console, door top-rolls and centre arm-rest.

Embossed scuff plates and luxury floor-mats enhance an ambience that combines traditional coach-building with contemporary design and material trends.

The Vignale name may be new to modern buyers, but it has a history that stretches back to 1948 and the Italian craftsman Alfredo Vignale, who hand-built specials and went on to produce bodies for beautiful competition cars.

Featuring a unique front grille and body styling with 18in wheels, the Focus Vignale is distinguished by full LED lighting front and rear. Inside, you will find a distinctive character with head-up display, rear view camera and a 675-watt 10-speaker B&O Play Premium Audio System.

There is a wider range of advanced driver assistance features than any Ford vehicle before, enabled by three radars, two cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors.

Safety kits includes front and rear parking sensors, autonomous emergency braking, tyre pressure monitoring, hill start assist and lane-keeping aid, while heated front seats, heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start all add to comfort and convenience.

It’s a winning combination as I found during a road test for Asian Life. Our 180bhp, 1.5-litre petrol-engined car made for rewarding driving, laying down its power smoothly via a slick six-speed manual gearbox.

The car returns 51mpg on the combined cycle, with performance figures of 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds and a top speed of 138mph (manufacturer’s figures).

The driving experience is rewarding, with a sweet blend of ride and handling which suits all conditions, from tootling around town to motorway hauls.

The car has a feeling of integrity and quality, and sits easily among premium company which includes the Mercedes A-Class and BMW 1 Series.

A car fit for founder Henry, no less.

Price: £30,815 including options.