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2010 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan Tip Off in L.A.

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2010 Mercury Milan

2010 Mercury Milan

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...with the restyled 2010 Ford Mustang on Tuesday. Following up this first act at the 2008 Los Angeles auto show are the updated version of its mainstay mid-sizers, the 2010 Ford Fusion and 2010 Mercury Milan. Neither has completely new sheetmetal like the 'Stang, but the improvements are worthwhile and do plenty to keep Ford moving forward.

2010 Ford Fusion and 2010 Mercury Milan

Ford is busy expanding the choices within the bread-and-butter Fusion and Milan lines, both of which get minor cosmetic overhauls for 2010. More importantly, both will offer a version of the efficient hybrid powertrain already used in the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs. The unit's internal combustion component is a sophisticated 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 155 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque. This torque is augmented by the electric motors integrated into the transmission assembly.

If the performance improvements and overall drivability are anywhere near as good as they are in the SUVs, the Fusion and Milan Hybrids should be great rides with good responsiveness and great mileage in a roomy sedan package. After all, they're not SUVs, so there is less weight coupled with a lower center of gravity.

Additionally, Ford is claiming that their hybrids will deliver "at least" five more miles per gallon than the Toyota Camry Hybrid. MPG-minded drivers will be aided by new driving technologies (SmartGauge and EcoGuide). We haven't experienced these, but we expect telltale indicators will help drivers be easy on the throttle and drive to maximize time spent in the cars' full-electric modes.

Even though the new hybrid models will get all the attention, Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan models propelled by non-hybrid powertrains will also see improvements in horsepower and mileage thanks to a host of new features (such as electric power steering) and design improvements (such as new engine cylinder heads). The new 2.5-liter four-cylinder now produces 175 horsepower, while the improved 3.0-liter V-6 produces 240 horsepower. Six-speed automatic transmissions will back both engines.

2010 Ford Fusion

2010 Ford Fusion

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While somewhat unfashionable at the moment, Ford will also add a new Sport model to the Fusion line. This edition will use the 3.5-liter V-6 found in the Ford Edge and other corporate vehicles (including the Lincoln MKS). The engine produces 263 horsepower in current installations, and with a six-speed automatic should make this Fusion pretty entertaining. The chassis will be upgraded to match the additional power, and 18-inch wheels will be standard.

More details will come as soon as we get them from the show floor. The L.A. Auto Show press days begin in earnest today.

MORE PHOTOS: 2010 Ford Fusion, 2010 Mercury Milan


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