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Mercury Cougar

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1997 Mercury Cougar 30TH Anniversary Edition. 1997 was the last year for the all original Big Cat.
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1997 Mercury Cougar 30TH Anniversary Edition. 1997 was the last year for the all original Big Cat.

The Mercury Cougar was an automobile sold under the Mercury brand of the Ford Motor Company's Lincoln-Mercury Division. The name was first used in 1967 and was carried by a diverse series of cars over the next three decades. As is common with Mercury vehicles, the Cougar shared basic platforms with Ford models. Originally this was the Mustang, but later versions of the Cougar were based on the Thunderbird, and the last was a version of the Mystique. The Cougar was important to Mercury's image for many years, and advertising often identified its dealers as being "at the sign of the cat". Glamorous models leading big cats on leashes were a feature of Cougar and Mercury ads back in their 1970s heyday.

Here's a quick rundown on each generation:

Contents

First Generation 1967-1970

Mercury Cougar
Mercury
Production 1967-70
Class Sports Car
Body Style 2-Door Coupe
2-Door Convertible
Length 190"
Width 71.2"
Height 51.8"
Wheelbase 111"
Weight 3200-3600 lbs
Transmission 3-Speed Manual
4-Speed Manual, RWD
3-Speed Automatic
Engine 4.7L (289 cid) V8 (1967)
5.0L (302 cid) V8 (1968-1970)
5.0L (302 cid) Boss V8 (1969-1970)
5.8L (351 cid) V8 (1969-1970)
6.5L (390 cid) V8 (1967-1969)
7.0L (428 cid) Cobra Jet V8 (1968-1970)
7.0L (429 cid) Boss V8 (1969)
Power 200-390 hp
Similar Ford Mustang

The Mercury Cougar was introduced in 1967 as an upscale fraternal twin to the Ford Mustang, although the Cougar's wheelbase was 3" longer and they shared no body panels. The Cougar also would not share the Mustang's fastback bodystyle, a notchback bodystyle was the only one offered. The "ponycar" market by this time was really starting to heat up, as 1967 also saw the introduction of the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird and Plymouth's second generation Barracuda, and after an unprecedented 1,000,000 Mustang sales in less than 3 years, Mercury desperately wanted to cash in on some of the action - hence the Cougar. Mercury successfully combined many luxury-car styling touches to the Cougar such as hidden quad headlights, extra chrome-laden trim and large horizontal taillights with the ultra-cool sequential turn-signal design borrowed from the Ford Thunderbird.

There were 2 models, the base and more luxurious XR-7. The XR-7 model brought a wood-grained steering wheel, a simulated wood-grained dashboard with a full set of black-faced competition instruments and toggle switches, an overhead console, a T-type center automatic transmission shifter, and leather or vinyl seats. There was also a sport-oriented GT package that could be had on either the base or XR-7. Unlike the Mustang, the Cougar offered no six-cylinder engines; its base engine was the 200 hp 4.7L (289 cid) V8 on both the base and XR-7, while the GT had the 6.4L (390 cid) V8 as standard. Either engine could have a 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission.

Changes for 1968 included new federally-mandated side marker lights, and there were some engine changes as well, starting with the 289 being replaced by a new 230 hp 5.0L (302 cid) V8 as the new base engine. The 390 continued, but now both the 427 Ford Race engine, followed by (around late March) the almighty 335 hp 7.0L (428 cid) Cobra Jet V8 became the top-dog. There were limited-edition XR-7G models (named for road racer Dan Gurney) available with the 302, 390 or 428 engines, and a GT-E package that had the famous 427 Side Oiler with hydraulic cam (later the 428 CJ became standard). 694 XR7-Gs were sold in '68, and 394 GT-Es (357 with 427s installed) sold from the 1968 model year. This was the last year of any Ford product sold with the 427 FE Engine.

1969s got a minor body restyle and facelift, with a new grille that was now horizontally-barred and stretched all the way across the nose, replacing the previous vertical split "electric-shaver" grille design. Taillights were restyled too, they now canted inward instead of outward, but the style was largely the same. A convertible model was added to the lineup this year. The GT-E and XR-7G models disappeared, but an all-new Eliminator was now the top performance model. Base engine for the Eliminator was a new 290 hp 5.8L (351 cid) Windsor V8, with the 390, 428 CJ and Boss 302 as options. There were a reported 2 total Eliminators sold with the Boss 429 engine. Eliminators also had the usual visual effects of the day of other muscle cars, such as a hood scoop (with a functional ram-air option) and a rear spoiler. Lesser base and XR-7s continued as before.

1970 Cougars got another new nose that went back to the split vertical bar design, but with a more pronounced center and hood extension. All engines continued as before (except the boss 429), but a new 300 hp 351 4bbl Cleveland V8 was added and the 390 was dropped. Since there would be an all-new Mustang for 1971, there would be a new Cougar as well.

Second Generation 1971-1973

Mercury Cougar
Mercury
Production 1971-1973
Class Sports Car
Body Style 2-Door Coupe
2-Door Convertible
Length 196.1"
Width 75"
Height 52.2"
Wheelbase 112.1"
Weight 3500-3800 lbs
Transmission 4-Speed Manual, RWD
3-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engine 5.8L (351 cid) Windsor V8 (1971-1973)
5.8L (351 cid) Cleveland V8 (1971-1973)
7.0L (429 cid) Super Cobra Jet (1971)
Power 240-370 hp
Similar Ford Mustang

The Cougar was completely redesigned this year and again was an upscale fraternal twin to the Mustang. Wheelbase and interior dimensions remained the same but exterior dimensions grew as the Cougar was toned down a bit in this generation. Again the Cougar would not share the Mustang's fastback bodystyle, but a coupe and convertible were still offered. Styling was again luxury-car oriented, but hidden headlights were no longer available - there were now 4 exposed headlights. Taillights were now horizontally-ribbed and still retained their ultra-cool sequential turn-signal feature. Rear window styling on the coupes took on a new "flying-butress" shape not unlike the Cougar's big-brother Marauder's design. Base and XR-7 models continued, but the hot Eliminator was unfortunately gone. Base engine for both was the larger 240 hp 351-2 Windsor V8 with 285 hp 351-4 Cleveland and 370 hp 429-4 Super Cobra Jet V8 (with available ram air) as options.

1972 models were nearly indentical to the '71s, but the 429 engine was dropped - the 351-4 was now the top engine option, and it and the base 351-2 engine suffered unfortunate horsepower decreases (as did all cars of this time period). 1973 Cougars grew a bit in length (and weight) due to the new larger mandated bumpers, resulting in a slightly restyled front end to accomodate the new bumper design. Taillights were now vertically sectioned. Base and XR-7 models continued, as well as the coupe and convertibles for both models. Drivetrain choices remained the same as in 1972. All but a very small handful of 2nd gen Cougars had 3-speed automatic transmissions.

Main Competitors 1967-1973


Third Generation 1974-1976

Mercury Cougar
Mercury
Production 1974-1976
Class Personal Luxury
Body Style 2-Door Coupe
Length 214.2 Inches
Width 75.3"
Height 52.5 Inches
Wheelbase 114.0 Inches
Weight 3800-4100 lbs.
Transmission 3-Speed Automatic
Engine 5.8L (351 cid) V8
6.6L (400 cid) V8
7.5L (460 cid) V8
Power 158-202 hp
Similar Ford Elite

The Cougar was all grown up now (literally) for this generation. Whereas the Mustang was downsized to the lowly Pinto chassis this year, Mercury went the other direction and upsized the Cougar, and it was now a fraternal twin to the intermediate Ford Torino, specifically the Gran Torino Elite coupe. The muscle/pony car market was all but dead by now, but the mid-size 2-door personal luxury car market was really starting to take off, thanks in large part to cars like the Pontiac Grand Prix and Chevrolet Monte Carlo - and once again, Mercury wanted in. The XR-7 was the only model to survive from the previous generation, there was no more base coupe. The convertible was gone too. In a nutshell, the Cougar XR-7 was to the Montego what the Chevy Monte Carlo was to the Malibu - a fancier coupe version.

The front end of the 1974 Cougar did resemble the 1973 model, but the new model was different in every other way, and unlike Cougars past, this one no longer offered any sporty variants, and its big-block V8s were now designed specifically for torque instead of raw horsepower (and these needed plenty of torque, since their curb weights were now knocking on 4000+ lbs). Although this model did have a taillight panel that stretched across the rear of the car, it unfortunately lost its distinctive sequential turn signal feature. Base engine was a 351-2, with a 351-4, 400-2 and 460-4 as options. And, this being the 1970s, Cougars had the usual popular features of the time as either standard or available, such as landau vinyl roofs, opera windows, hood ornaments and such. 1975 models changed very little other than a catalytic converter was now standard on most models, requiring the use of unleaded gasoline. 1976 models didn't change much either, but one thing was evident: Mercury was definitely on to something with the upsized Cougar, as sales jumped quite a bit over the last generation's pony car version. A redesigned version would appear for 1977.

Main Competitors 1974-1976


Fourth Generation 1977-1979

Mercury Cougar
Mercury
Production 1977-1979
Class Personal Luxury/Intermediate
Body Style 2-Door Coupe (XR-7)
2-Door Coupe (Base)
4-Door Sedan
5-Door Wagon (1977)
Length 215.5 Inches Coupe
219.5 Inches Sedan
223.1 Inches Wagon
Width 75.2"
Height 52.6 Inches Coupe
53.3 Inches Sedan and Wagon
Wheelbase 114.0 Inches Coupe
118.0 Inches Sedan and Wagon
Weight 3800-4100 lbs
Transmission 3-Speed Automatic
Engine 5.0L (302 cid) V8 (1977-1979)
5.8L (351 cid) V8 (1977-1979)
6.6L (400 cid) V8 (1977-1978)
Power 137-180 hp
Similar Ford Thunderbird
Ford LTD II

The previous generation Cougar XR-7 proved popular, and this generation would be much more so as the Cougar XR-7 was now a fraternal twin to the downsized Ford Thunderbird, although it still rode on the old Montego platform. Exterior dimensions grew a bit once again, and the styling was even more personal-luxury car oriented - there were now louvers on the rear quarter opera windows, for example. The Cougar XR-7 differed from the Thunderbird by having exposed quad rectangular headlamps versus the T-bird's hidden dual headlamps, and the taillights were a bit smaller - but their dimensions were more or less identical. The 302 V8 returned as the base engine for the first time since 1970, but by now it was rated at only 137 hp. The 351 and 400 V8s were optional, but the monster 460 was no longer available.

The Montego was now gone, but its coupe, sedan and station wagon models were now Cougars, the first time a Cougar sedan and station wagon would be available, and based on the Ford LTD II, which replaced the outgoing Torino. Drivetrain options would mirror the XR-7, and the XR-7 would handily outsell the base 2-door, sedan and station wagon models combined. Coupes and sedans would be available with an upscale Brougham package, and the station wagon could have a fancier Villager package (a name carried over from the previous Montego wagons, and would find its way on Mercury's minivan in the early 1990s).

1978 models differed very little, the station wagon model was dropped, but the base coupe, sedan and XR-7 continued - and the XR-7 broke the 200,000 sales barrier for the first (and only) time. Two new decor packages became available this year- XR-7 Decor Option and Midnight/Chamois Decour Option, which came with a half-vinyl roof, padded "Continental" type rear deck, and Midnight Blue and tan Chamois interior with Tiffany-style carpeting. Drivetrain choices remained the same as in the previous year. 1979 XR-7s had slightly revised taillights - they were now horizontally ribbed instead of vertically, other Cougar models continued largely unchanged. The 400 V8 was no longer available, the 351 was now the top option. XR-7 sales weren't quite as high as last year, but it was still a hot ticket as far as personal-luxury coupes were concerned despite the downsized GM personal luxury entries. The Cougar itself would succumb to the downsizing trend in 1980, and as time would quickly prove... not so successfully.

Main Competitors, Cougar 1977-1979

Main Competitors, Cougar XR-7 1977-1979


Fifth Generation 1980-1982

Mercury Cougar
Mercury
Production 1980-1982
Class Personal Luxury/Intermediate
Body Style 2-Door Coupe (XR-7)
2-Door Coupe (Base)
4-Door Sedan
5-Door Wagon
Length 200.4 Inches
Width 74.1 Inches
Height 53.0 Inches
Wheelbase 108.4 Inches
Weight 2800-3300 lbs
Transmission 3-Speed Automatic, RWD
4-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engine 2.3L (140 cid) I4 (1981-1982)
3.3L (200 cid) I6 (1981-1982)
3.8L (232 cid) V6 (1982)
4.2L (255 cid) V8 (1980-1982)
5.0L (302 cid) V8 (1980-1982)
Power 88-130 hp
Similar Ford Thunderbird
Ford Granada
Platform Fox

An all-new downsized Cougar would debut this year and would now be one of many Ford models based on the Fox platform, which was the basis for the Ford Fairmont/Mercury Zephyr. The Cougar still continued to be the Thunderbird's fraternal twin. Once again (temporarily) there would only be the XR-7 coupe. By this time the buying public clearly embraced GM's downsized personal luxury cars (Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Pontiac Grand Prix, etc), but the public wasn't quite sure what to make of Ford's new downsized Thunderbird and Cougar. Whereas the previous versions looked sleek and angular, this new version looked overtly boxy and bloated to many folks (for the record, Chrysler wasn't having much luck with its downsized Cordoba and new Dodge Mirada either). Not surprisingly, sales dropped substantially as much of the general public greeted the new Cougar with a big "...HUH?"

Base engine was now a forgettable 115 hp 4.2L (255 cid) V8, with the 130 hp 302 cid V8 as the top engine option. A 3-speed automatic was standard on the 255, but an all-new 4-speed automatic was standard on the 302. Styling again differed from the T-bird by having exposed quad headlamps and separate taillights versus the T-bird's full-length unit. Exterior dimensions shrunk by about a foot and the new Cougar was about 500-600 lbs lighter than the previous version... but its styling just didn't work - too overdone, overwrought, among many other colorful not-too-flattering adjectives.

1981 XR-7s differed very little other than the 4-speed automatic becoming standard on the 255 cid V8, but now that the Monarch was dropped this year, a base Cougar returned and was once again offered as a 2-door coupe and 4-door sedan. The base Cougar was now a twin to the Ford Granada, which was redesigned onto the Fox platform this year. Standard engine for the base Cougar was the 88 hp 2.3L (140 cid) I4, with the 94 hp 3.3L (200 cid) I6 as optional (and the new standard engine in the XR-7), marking the first time a four and six-cylinder engines were ever offered in a Cougar. The 255 and 302 were still optional in the XR-7. XR-7s and base Cougars differed very little for 1982, but to make matters even more confusing (and depressing), in 1982 the base Cougar was now offered as a station wagon model for the first time since 1977 (and even resurrected the Villager name on the top of the line model). A new V6 was offered in the base models, a 112 hp 3.8L (232 cid) V6, other drivetrain choices remained as before.

Considering that the Cougar (the XR-7 especially) was the once star of Mercury's show just a few years ago and could seemingly do no wrong, by now it had become rather homely, anonymous... and boring. Chalk this up in addition to the car now being offered with lowball four and six-cylinder engines and a station wagon... by this time it's little wonder why the Cougar had become one seriously lost and confused kitty. An all-new Cougar would debut for 1983 that would turn this tide.

Main Competitors, Cougar 1981-1982

Main Competitors, Cougar XR-7 1980-1982

Sixth Generation 1983-1988

Mercury Cougar
Mercury
Production 1983-1988
Class Personal Luxury
Body Style 2-Door Coupe
Length 200.8"
Width 71.1"
Height 53.8"
Wheelbase 104.2"
Weight 3200-3500 lbs
Transmission 5-Speed Manual, RWD
3-Speed Automatic, RWD
4-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engine 2.3L (140 cid) Turbo I4 (1984-1986)
3.8L (232 cid) V6 (1983-1988)
5.0L (302 cid) V8 (1983-1988)
Power 120-155 hp
Similar Ford Thunderbird
Platform Fox

Mercury got the Cougar back to basics in this generation - a 2-door coupe was the only bodystyle offered, the 4-door sedans and station wagons were gone for good in this lineup, never to return. Still based on the Fox chassis and a fraternal twin to the T-bird, this generation differed most from the T-bird with its somewhat-controversial rear-quarter window styling using a more formal notchback rear window along with upswept quarter windows. Whether or not the AMC Gremlin-style quarter windows are to your taste is subject to personal interpretation, but the buying public apparently took to it, even outselling the Thunderbird for the first time this year. For the first time in Cougar history, an XR-7 model was not offered (although it would return a year later), there was now a base GS model and an upscale LS. Base engine was the 232 cid V6 with the 302 cid V8 as an option. A 4-speed automatic transmission was standard with the 302, the V6 had a 3-speed auto.

1984 saw the return of the XR-7 model, its standard engine was the 145 hp 2.3L (140 cid) Turbo I4 borrowed from the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe and could have either a 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic. The XR-7 also featured blacked-out window trim, wide body side mouldings and charcoal grey lower half with tri-band striping to separate it from the base Cougars. 1985 models got a new grille and taillights, and GS models got a new digital dash as standard. In 1986, the 302 V8 got sequential electronic fuel injection (SEFI) which boosted power to 150 hp, and the XR-7 turbo got a power boost to 155 hp.

Cougars got a minor restyle in 1987, receiving a new grille, flush-mounted headlamps, and larger taillights. The rear quarter windows still retained its upswept-styling, but they were larger and were stretched more to the rear of the car. The XR-7 dropped its turbo engine (although it still continued in the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe), its top engine was now the 150 hp 302 cid V8. The base 232 cid V6 continued on the GS and LS models. All models now could have digital dashes, although an analog was standard on the XR-7. The supposed rumor of Ford offering the Mustang GT's 225 hp 302 cid V8 in the Cougar and Thunderbird this year unfortunately never materialized. In honor of the Cougar's 20th anniversary, an 20th Anniversary Edition package was offered, which included (among other things) special badging, the 302 V8, decklid luggage rack, gold Mustang GT wheels with Cougar-emblemed center caps and other such detail items. The 232 cid V6 got a power boost to 140 hp, but that was about the only real change in 1988 as an all-new 1989 model was waiting in the wings.

Main Competitors 1983-1988


Seventh Generation 1989-1997

Mercury Cougar
Mercury
Production 1989-1997
Class Personal Luxury
Body Style 2-Door Coupe
Length 199.9"
Width 72.7"
Height 52.5"
Wheelbase 113"
Weight 3700-3900 lbs
Transmission 5-Speed Manual, RWD
4-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engine 3.8L (232 cid) V6 (1989-1997)
3.8L (232 cid) Supercharged V6 (1989-1990)
4.6L (281 cid) V8 (1994-1997)
5.0L (302 cid) V8 (1991-1993)
Power 140-210 hp
Similar Ford Thunderbird
Platform MN12

A completely redesigned Cougar debuted for 1989. This edition was sportier, larger - and unfortunately alot heavier than the previous versions, with curb weights now rivaling the late-1970's Cougars at nearly 4000 lbs. The Cougar now had a fully-independent rear suspension, a first for the Cougar and an extreme rarity among American rear-drive cars. The wheelbase was a whopping 9" longer than the previous, which greatly increased rear seat room, but it was actually a tad shorter overall. The GS model was dropped, there was now an LS and an XR-7 only. Another Cougar first was that there was (temporarily) no V8, even as an option. The 140 hp 232 cid V6 carried over as the base (and only) engine for the LS, while the XR-7 got a 210 hp supercharged version of the 232 V6, shared with the Thunderbird Super Coupe. A 4-speed automatic was standard on the LS, the XR-7 could have a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. The new Cougar kepts its notchback-style rear roof design, but the rear quarter windows were now almost square and no longer upswept - a design that was much easier on the eyes to many people. Its tail was much more upright than before, but its front end was swept back and had a chrome waterfall grille (body-colored on the XR-7) with the Cougar emblem in the center portion.

1990 models continued mostly unchanged, a digital dash continued to be standard on the LS with a fully-analog cluster in the XR-7, and it got a couple of new color choices. The supercharged 3.8 was dropped from the XR-7 lineup in 1991 (although it continued in the Thunderbird Super Coupe), signaling the return of the 205 hp 302 V8 as standard and optional in the LS. The rarely-ordered 5-speed manual was dropped altogether, the sole transmission for both models was now a 4-speed automatic. Colors for the XR-7 were still red, white and black. 1992 models could have a 25th Anniversary package with special badging and other goodies. In 1993, the LS model was dropped and the XR-7 was once again the only Cougar offered. Base XR-7s got the previous LS's 232 cid V6 as standard, with the 302 as an option. In 1994, the 210 hp 4.6L (281 cid) V8 replaced the 302 as the top engine option, and it got a subtle facelift. Dashboards were redesigned to accomodate dual airbags, eliminating the dreaded motorized shoulder belts. Cougar XR-7s carried on in 1995 and 1996 with no appreciable changes other than the usual new color choices and shuffling, the 1997 model got a restyled dash that got a cupholder. The 1997 would be the Cougar's last in its present form.

The Cougar would return in 1999 as a Ford Contour-based front wheel drive model as a spiritual replacement for the Ford Probe.

Main Competitors 1989-1997


Eighth Generation 1999-2002

Mercury Cougar
Mercury
aka Ford Cougar (Europe)
Production 1999-2002
Class Entry-Level Luxury Sports Coupe
Body Style 3-Door Coupe
Length 185 in (470 cm)
Width 69.6 in (177 cm)
Height 52.2 in (133 cm)
Wheelbase 106.4 in (270 cm)
Weight 2892 lb (1312 kg)
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Engine 2.0 L Zetec I4
2.5 L Duratec V6
Power 130-170 hp
Similar Acura Integra Coupe
Honda Prelude
Platform CDW27

The decline of personal luxury cars downsized the Cougar to return as a sports car after 25 years as a personal luxury car. Of the three names that had constituted Ford's personal luxury lineup, Mark, Thunderbird, and Cougar, the Cougar returned first. This time, it is based on the Ford CDW27, the same platform that serves as the basis for the Ford Mondeo Ford Contour & Mercury Mystique in the United States and Canada.

This generation of Cougar had a far more contemporary package, with modern DOHC 4-valve engines, a fully independent multilink suspension, and front-wheel drive. This was also the first hatchback Cougar, and the first to have its own body, unshared by any Ford (and, as it turned out, the last). The body used a philosophy Ford dubbed "New Edge" design: a combination of organic upper body lines with sharp, concave creases in the lower areas. The Cougar's body, and the New Edge idea in general, was introduced as a concept called the Mercury MC2 in 1997.

The 1999–2002 Cougars were available with two engine options, the 2.0 L Zetec 4-cylinder engine with 130 horsepower, and the 2.5 L Duratec V6 with 170 horsepower. Also, two transaxle options were available: the manual Ford MTX-75 transmission or the automatic Ford CD4E transmission(available in the U.S. with either engine, although the I4/Automatic combo was extremely rare; supposedly only 500 Cougars were built with the I4/Auto combination).

"Sport Package" models with the V6 featured 4-wheel vented disc brakes (from the Contour SVT), 16" alloy wheels, and a higher speed governor installed. Contrary to popular belief, the speed governor was not removed, but simply raised as a result of high speed rated tires with the 16" wheels. The top speed of the manual transmission car was 153mph in top gear at redline. While this was considered attainable given enough road, the automatic transmission version could not reach this speed without significant engine modification. With the sport package, the speed governor was raised to just higher than 153mph so, essentially, it was never seen. Without the sport package, the speed governor was set at 115 mph.

Ford also prepared two high performance concept-only versions dubbed the "Eliminator", which was a supercharged version built with aftermarket available parts, and the "Cougar S", which featured new body work, all-wheel drive and a 3.0 L Duratec engine.

Interestingly, Ford also sold this generation of Cougar in Europe and Australia as the Ford Cougar, but was not a sales success—surprising given that the Mondeo sold well in many countries outside North America.

This generation never sold well. In North America, the Cougar was sold at Mercury dealerships along side of several cars marketed to a generally older buyer. Salesmen unfamiliar in selling a car aimed at a younger and or female buyer had trouble selling this new cougar. Many feel that had this car been called a Ford Probe and marketed as such at a Ford dealer, it would have sold better.

Admittedly, demand for all coupes continued to dwindle, but the sedan versions also languished in North America, suggesting that the Mondeo platform was simply not well suited there - though there is a theory that Ford did not market the Contour and its Mercury Mystique twin properly while the market for the similarly sized BMW 3 Series grew. A high-performance Cougar S (not to be confused with the concept) was discussed in the press, which was essentially a Cougar with a Contour SVT engine; however, this version never made it into production.

In order to help create excitement for the Cougar, Mercury created several paint and trim packages called:

Special Edition (2000 model year) available in Zinc Yellow, leather interior with yellow stitiching on the seats

C2 (2001-2002 model years) available in either French Blue, Silver Frost, or Vibrant White, along with special blue interior accents

Zn (2001 model year) available with special Zinc Yellow, special Visteon hood scoop and spoiler

XR (2002 model year) available in either Black or XR Racing Red, with special black and red seats and interior trim. Also came with 17" silver wheels with black accents on the inner spokes.

35th Anniversary (2002 model year) Available in Laser Red, Satin Silver, and Black. Most came with leather interiors with silver center sections on the seats. They also came with 17" machined wheels, the same as the XR's without the black paint on the center spokes

For the 2001 model year, the Cougar was "updated" with new headlights, front and rear facsias, and updated interior trim. Ford's restructuring plan in 2002 decided to cancel the Cougar (along with the Escort, Lincoln Continental and Mercury Villager).

Main Competitors 1999-2002

Photos

See also

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