Originally an upmarket Ford Mustang for the Lincoln–Mercury Division, with a longer wheelbase and plusher equipment. Came to be the hero car for Mercury and symbolized the entire brand. However, by 1974, Cougar was an overweight, intermediate, body-on-frame personal–luxury car. The next generation saw Cougar range expand to include a sedan and a wagon, and a downsizing for 1980 meant the nameplate was now on the once-“compact” Fox one (with a 1981–2 sedan and a 1982 wagon appearing). The aero look for the Thunderbird in 1983 had a parallel with Cougar, though it had an odd, upright formal C-pillar, perhaps to fight rivals such as the Buick Regal. Cougar remained a formal T’bird until 1997, when the nameplate was briefly retired, to return in 1999 as a coupé version of the Ford Mondeo. This was the only time the Mercury Cougar was sold also as a Ford (in Europe), but Ford’s troubles saw to the end of the model line in 2002.