While the wraps on the 2010 Mercury Milan (along with its Ford and Lincoln cousins) won't come off until November's Los Angeles auto show, we caught the refreshed midsize sedan testing in the cold, dark Michigan night.
All three examples shown here are, in fact, Milan Hybrids, a new offering for the 2010 model year. Though we don't yet know the exact specifications, rumors suggest the Milan Hybrid will share a considerable amount of powertrain with the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner Hybrids, including the Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter I-4 and a revised series-parallel hybrid transaxle sourced from Aisin. We hear Ford poured considerable effort into that revised system, which may now be capable of mating with larger engines - perhaps the Milan's 3.0-liter V-6.
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 more subtle. 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. These prototypes also sported LED taillights, though we don't know if the feature is reserved for the Milan Hybrid or will be offered throughout the range.
We'll be able to bring you more details and photos (in better lighting, we promise) once Ford unwraps the hybrid triplets at the L.A. show in November. Until then, stay with Automobile Magazine for all the latest news on both the 2010 Mercury Milan and the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show.