Ford has introduced the 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid at the Los Angeles Auto Show and there are a slew of upgrades to the Milan model, as well as to the hybrid system you may be familiar with in the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner Hybrid. By introducing the Mercury Milan Hybrid and the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, Ford will be doubling the size of their hybrid models.
The new generation hybrid system has one feature that certainly makes it stand out. You can now drive up to 47 mph in electric mode, which is quite an upgrade. I'm guessing you can only travel a mile or three on all electric. But for those interested in hypermiling or just in saving gas, the upgrade in speed will give you more options.
The engine is a new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine running the Atkinson cycle mated to an electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission (e-CVT). It can produce 155 hp/136 lb.-ft. of torque. The electric motor is powered by a smaller, lighter nickel metal hydride battery pack. The battery, despite being smaller, is producing 20 percent more power, while running at higher temperatures. It is cooled by using cabin air.
Ford has also upgraded the transition between the electric and gas modes, making it more seamless than before. The transition is governed by the Intake Variable Cam Timing (iVCT) The spark and cam timing are varied according to the engine load to optimize efficiency and emissions.
A new enhanced, electronic throttle control reduces airflow on shutdowns. That cuts down on fuel needed on restarts.
A smart climate control system only runs the gas engine as needed to heat the cabin, while the A/C is run off an electric compressor.
The regenerative brake system recovers nearly 94 percent energy, followed by friction brakes during city driving. A simulator brake actuation system dictates brake actuation and delivers improved brake pedal feel compared to the previous generation braking system.
Ford has also updated the drivers interaction with the hybrid system with their new SmartGuage with EcoGuide. Two high resolution, full color liquid crystal displays (LCD) on both sides of the speedometer can be configured to show different levels of information. You can take a look at the fuel and battery levels or average and instant mpg. You can also keep track of how efficiently you're driving using Ford's leaves and vines system (the more leaves you have the better you are).
There are four different data screens to choose from:
- Inform: Fuel level and battery charge status
- Enlighten: Adds electric vehicle mode indicator and tachometer
- Engage: Adds engine output power and battery output power
- Empower: Adds power to wheels, engine pull-up threshold and accessory power consumption
All levels can show instant fuel economy, fuel economy history, odometer, engine coolant temperature, what gear the car is in and trip data (trip fuel economy, time-elapsed fuel economy and miles to empty). The engine coolant temperature indicator turns green when engine conditions are warm enough to allow engine pull-down.
Several other elements help differentiate the Milan Hybrid from its gas-powered sibling, including unique hybrid “road and leaf” badging on both sides and the rear of the vehicle; unique 17-inch, eight-spoke wheels; eco-friendly seat fabric made from post-industrial 100 percent recycled materials; and a standard 110-volt power outlet.
Other changes to the Milan include the fascia being pulled down, while the chin was pulled forward to give it a wider look.
On the inside, metallic finishes were applied to the instrument panel, center console, doors and steering wheel. A soft upper and lower skin was applied to the instrument panel to give it a softer look. A leather wrapped steering has form fitting palm swells, a new shifter and wrapped and padded armrests have been added.
Ford also added in their capless fuel filler system. As stated, there is no cap. Just remove the pump nozzle and the system automatically seals shut.
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 to the sound insulation. Ford also worked on the body and door sealing to cut down on wind noise.
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.
- 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.
- 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 spoiler 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.