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Mercury Cougar (1999–2002)

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2001 Mercury Cougar.jpg

Mercury Cougar (SW164). 1999–2002 (prod. n/a). 3-door coupé. F/F, 1998 cm³ (I4 DOHC), 2544 cm³ (V6 DOHC). CDW27 Mondeo-based Cougar, fighting the imports (Mitsubishi Eclipse (1995–9), Honda Prelude) in the North American market. A fine idea, providing Mercury with a car that didn’t look like a glorified Ford, and giving Ford of Europe (as the Ford Cougar) a successor to the US-made Ford Probe and, it was hoped, the Ford Capri. Did not take off in either market, nor did it succeed in Australia, to where it was also exported as a Ford. New Edge styling neat, but the car was less grunty and softer than the styling suggested. Coarse by comparison with Mondeo, especially 2·0. Three-litre Cougar S never materialized. Good as a long-distance cruiser but too long (1 in longer than Mercury Mystique) and too soft to be a true sports car. Updates (‘Cougar 2’) in 2001 with new lights, facia and interior trim. Thirty-fifth anniversary (of Cougar nameplate) limited edition in US in 2002. Financial difficulties at Ford forced end of production after 2002 model year. Last cars sold in Europe 2003.

Manufacturing location: Flat Rock, Michigan, USA

Marque: Mercury | Model: Mercury Cougar | Predecessor: Ford Probe Mk II

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