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Ford hybrid sedans aim at Camry

'Automotive News' reports on the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids.

Automotive News

Ford Motos expects its Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrid sedans to get better fuel economy than the Toyota Camry Hybrid.

The restyled, re-engineered Fusion and Milan will be company's first sedans with a two-mode hybrid power train. Ford now offers a hybrid power train only in the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner crossovers. The hybrid sedans debuted last week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Sales begin in the first quarter of 2009.

"We expect to be up to 5 mpg more than the Camry Hybrid in the city, and we will also beat the Camry Hybrid on the highway," said Nancy Gioia, Ford's director of sustainable mobility technologies and hybrid vehicle programs.

The 2009 Camry Hybrid has an EPA rating of 33 mpg city/34 highway. Gioia says, Ford's hybrids would get about 38 mpg in the city.

The Fusion and Milan hybrids will have a two-motor system developed by Delphi and Ford's new 175 horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.

The battery pack, supplied by Sanyo, is different from the one on the Escape and Mariner hybrids. The battery pack in the Fusion and Milan has 17 percent fewer cells, is 23 percent lighter, and has 20 percent more power.

The Fusion and Milan hybrids can go 47 mph in electric mode. At a Michigan briefing before the auto show, Gioia said the Escape and Mariner manage only about 28 mph.

(Source: Automotive News)