The 2010 Mercury Milan isn't as curvy as Jill Wagner, but it does benefit from a more shapely profile than its predecessor. The general buyers who opt for the new Milan over its Ford or Lincoln siblings will probably be more interested in that visual enhancement than the upgraded 2.5-liter four-banger or the revised V6 now putting out 240 HP, up from 221 HP in the previous model. While enthusiasts may look forward to the new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, the average non-enthusiast buyers will likely care more about the availability Ford SYNC, Sirius Travel-link and a back-up camera. Whether enthusiast or not, everyone should be grateful for the 4 to 5 MPG bounce on the four-banger. Unlike the Fusion, there has been no announcement of a "sport" mode for the Milan, indicative of the kind of audience Mercury expects the car should attract. Full details in the press release below the jump.
2010 Mercury Milan DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 19, 2008 – The Mercury Milan builds on a strong foundation of quality and reliability, adding to the mix for the 2010 model year an all-new hybrid model, more fuel-efficient gasoline powertrain options, class-exclusive technologies and a more refined, sophisticated design. “The Milan has been a strong part of the Mercury lineup since its initial launch and has helped attract more consumers to dealer showrooms,” said John Felice, general manager, Ford, Lincoln Mercury Marketing. “For sophisticated consumers looking for a stylish hybrid, the Milan now offers them the most fuel-efficient hybrid sedan in its class.” Chief designer Darrell Behmer and his team had the advantage of working from a vehicle that’s been lauded by consumers and consumer groups. “Our approach was to build upon the Milan’s strengths – to improve rather than reinvent,” Behmer said. “From a design standpoint, we wanted to clarify the design, making it cleaner and more modern.” The changes to the exterior design were focused on the grille,and front and rear fascias. The chin was pulled forward and the fascia was pulled down to give the 2010 Mercury Milan a wider, sportier look. Those changes as well as substantial underbody work made for a cleaner, more aerodynamic car. The two-tone look on the interior continues as a Milan signature, with satin-aluminum accents and a wood finish around the center stack. The Milan features Dark Charcoal Black, Medium Light Stone and Camel as interior choices through the Premier Series, which includes embossed leather. An improved seat design with a new perforation pattern has been added as well. The seat contour itself was revised, with more side support to help create a softer seat overall. Door sill plates mirror the satin-aluminum look as well. Drivers also are greeted with contrasting stitching on the steering wheel. Ice Blue lighting now illuminates the cluster and instrument panel display. More powertrain options, more horsepower, better fuel economy Both the inline four-cylinder and V-6 engines are upgraded, with the four-cylinder engine increased to 2.5 liters and the 3-liter V-6 increasing its horsepower rating from 221 to 240. Each engine improves fuel economy as well, up to 4 or 5 mpg depending on the model. The 2.5-liter I-4 engine, which improved its 0-60 mph time by more than 1 second to achieve best-in-class performance, is available with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, up from five speeds. “The gear ratios and the overall span of the transmissions allow us to have a more-efficient shift schedule,” said Matt Hettenhouse, powertrain team leader for the Milan. The first gear can be made a little deeper, which provides smoother acceleration. At the top end, a higher gear allows the engine to run slower in highway conditions, which also aids fuel economy. The innovative Easy Fuel™ capless fuel filler system also is standard. This industry-exclusive feature helps to reduce evaporative emissions that create smog and global warming. When fueling is completed, and the fuel pump nozzle is removed, the system automatically seals shut. Better handling in a quieter, more-comfortable ride Bringing a premium driving experience to the Mercury Milan was one of the goals for the team. For the 2010 model, strides were made in steering and handling, turning circle (better by about 1 foot) and an improved brake pedal feel. Upgraded 17-inch painted aluminum wheels are another performance and appearance enhancement standard on the Premier. The 2010 Mercury Milan team also took a look at how to improve the comfort of the car. “We made a major improvement on interior quietness,” said Chief Engineer J.D. Shanahan. Hood insulators, inner and outer dash absorbers, new carpet, revised ceiling baffles, additional sound deadening in the trunk, new interior material and new headliner material are among the improvements made. In addition, improved body and door sealing defends and improves upon Milan’s best-in-class standing in wind noise. Reductions in wind noise and road noise gives Mercury Milan drivers the level of quiet luxury they demand. With design refinements to the exterior creating a sportier look as well as upgraded technology and materials inside, the 2010 Mercury Milan expands on the value package that makes it a leader in the mid-size car segment. Staying connected New technology features available on the 2010 Milan include: • Blind Spot Information System (BLISTM) with Cross Traffic Alert, which can help provide extra confidence to drivers in parking lots by alerting drivers sooner of nearby traffic while backing out. It uses two multiple beam radar modules, which are packaged in the rear quarter panels. The radar detects moving objects within a 65-foot range from either side of the vehicle. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding side-view mirror providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching. An audible alert is sounded as well. • SYNC: The voice-activated hands-free in-car communication and entertainment system developed by Ford and Microsoft. The system fully integrates most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and digital media players, providing customers hands-free cell phone and music selection capabilities – plus new 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report provided with no monthly fees. o 911 Assist: When a phone is properly paired, turned on and connected to SYNC, the system is ready to assist in placing a call directly to a local 911 emergency operator in the event of an air bag-deploying accident. The key advantage of SYNC 911 Assist is speed, as calls are placed directly to local 911 operators. o Vehicle Health Report (VHR): SYNC gathers relevant information from the major vehicle control modules and packages diagnostic data into a usable format in a matter of minutes. That data packet is sent to Ford via an 800-number automatically dialed using the customer’s paired and operable mobile phone. • Voice-Activated Navigation, which integrates several functions including voice recognition destination entry, climate control and SIRIUS satellite radio into one easy-to-use system, displaying them on an 8-inch touch-screen display. The navigation system’s text-to-speech function calls out street names while in route to a destination and reads incoming text messages when the system is linked to SYNC. The integrated DVD player is capable of reading CD-Audio, MP3 CDs, DVD, DVD-Audio and DVD-ROM (for digital map updates). A music jukebox function stores more than 150 hours of music. The screen even can be customized with personal photos. • SIRIUS Travel Link™, an industry-leading technology that, when combined with the voice-activated navigation system will provide users with real-time traffic data with accident and incident information, coast-to-coast weather data including current conditions and five-day forecasts, and fuel price information for over 120,000 gas stations. Travel Link also offers sports scores and schedules and a listing of more than 4,500 movie theaters with movie times, theater addresses, movie synopses and more. • Reverse Camera System, which mounts a small camera on the decklid that is activated when Milan is shifted into reverse, giving the driver a clear view behind the vehicle. The video image is displayed in the optional navigation screen on Milans equipped with that option or in the self-dimming rearview mirror vehicles without navigation. All Mercury Milan models will be built alongside the Ford Fusion at Ford’s Hermosillo (Mexico) Stamping and Assembly Plant and will be in dealers in spring 2009.