Debuting at the 2008 Los Angeles auto show alongside its Fusion cousin, the 2010 Mercury Milan wraps revised powertrain offerings in a sleek new wrapper.
Like much of Ford's revised offerings, the roofline of the Milan is carried over from the current car, but there is noticeable change in both front and rear. Up front, the 2010 Milan wears an all-new fascia which, given the curvaceous form of its headlamps, almost hints at the car's Mazda's roots. The Mercury waterfall grille is still prominent - perhaps even more so, as it's wider than before and flows right from a chunky power bulge on the hood.
Styling changes out back, however, are subtler. Designers attempted to round off the Milan's rear section, and as a result, the rear fenders and bumper look chunkier than before. The rear fenders now curve into the trunk section, and as a result, you'll notice the taillights have a distinct curve on their uppermost edges.
Perhaps most notable is the addition of a Milan Hybrid for 2010. Sharing its powertrain with the 2010 Fusion Hybrid, the gasoline-electric Milan uses the 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle I-4 coupled to an electric CVT. If drivers are gentle enough, the Milan Hybrid can reach up to 47 mph in pure EV mode, and best the Toyota Camry Hybrid's city fuel mileage (33 mpg) by at least five mpg.
Customers looking for a more conventional propulsion system are relegated to either an all-new 175-hp 2.5-liter I-4 or a revised 3.0-liter V-6, which produces 240 hp and is capable of running on E85 ethanol blends. As part of Ford's mandate to install six-speed automatic transmission is every vehicle by 2015, six-speed automatics are standard equipment on both four- and six-cylinder models. Front-wheel drive is par for the course, but as in previous models, all-wheel drive remains an extra-cost option.
Hybrid cars also gain the customizable LCD "SmartPanel" instrument cluster, but there are some noticeable improvements within the Milan's interior even on base cars. Though the dashboard is similar to the existing car, materials are slightly softer than before, and designers have extended the two-tone scheme to the dash, door panels, and seat surfaces.
Expect to see early examples arrive in Lincoln-Mercury dealerships in the spring of 2009.