On Monday, AutoblogGreen joined several dozen other media outlets in Los Angeles for a chance to drive Ford's new 2010 Fusion hybrid for the first time. After a brief repeat of the technical highlights of the new hybrid sedan, Ford spokesman Alan Hall challenged the group to go out and drive a route through Beverly Hills and Hollywood to see who could achieve the best mileage. The final EPA numbers aren't done yet for the Fusion but Ford is saying it will be at least 39 city/37 highway, handilly beating its primary competitor, the Toyota Camry Hybrid.

We can't yet share our full driving impressions until the end of the week but we can tell you all what happened during the mileage challenge. We paired up in the cars and each driver got to drive half the route before we switched places. Ford's hybrid applications manager Gil Portalatin went out Sunday set the baselines for each half of the route. Nobody matched Portalatin's results of 46 mpg on the first segment or 43.5 mpg on the second part, but some of us came close. On the first route Steve Siler of Car and Driver managed 43.6 mpg while yours truly achieved 43.1 to capture the second part. Stayed tuned this weekend for all the details on how we topped 40 mpg in the Fusion.

Photos Copyright ©2008 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

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