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As a part of Ford's revitalization plan for 2002 the "low-margin" Mercury Cougar will be discontinued this year along with the Villager, Lincoln Continental and Ford Escort, due to Ford's recent economic down fall. It looks like the Cougar will be going out with a whimper unless Ford starts making some good profits, otherwise the upcoming, retro [kickass] Cougar is as of today -DEAD! - Chad
 

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RIP Cougar

Well, I think FoMoCo screwed up big time with their market research for the latest incarnation of the Cougar anyway. I'm actually glad to see this affront to the venerable Cougar nameplate go the way of the Dodo. What an embarassment!

Now, if they were to re-introduce a car worthy of the Cougar name, I'd be glad to endorse it. To do so, they'd have to go back to the real genesis of the Cougars back in the late 60s - early 70s. A sporty yet luxurious personal car. Rear wheel drive. Turbo V-6 or V-8 powered. Bucket seats, console, floor shift, etc.

Words from the old curmudgeon.
 

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Chad

Apparently one of the reasons the Cougar got cut was it didn't come close to making its numbers in the export markets that was part of the basis of its justification in the first place. Unfortunately it isn't a good enough car to cut it in Europe or Asia/Pacific
 

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i agree with cj...

let the thing die.

then bring it back in a couple years as a retro.

hey, you don't think that was the plan all along do you? after all, this is the path they took with the t-bird.

incidently, i think the escort and continental names brought in far too much for ford over the years to delete them permanently. the escort saved their butts in the 80s and the continental is one of their oldest models.
 

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No Great Loss

Like Cougrrcj, I won't miss the current "chiclet" version of the Cougar. Ever since 1973 Mercury has been trying to capitalize on the reputation of the original Cougar. Most of the time the resulting marketing ploys have been insulting to the memory of classic Cats. I think the demise of the Lincoln Continental is far more historically significant than the loss of the plastic Cougar.

Having said all that, I'm going to go out on a limb with a prediction. If (and that's a big "if") Mercury is still around in 2004, I predict you will see another Cougar based on the 2002 T-Bird platform and drivetrain. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. And, if my prediction is accurate, it could be the first Cougar since 1973 that is worthy of wearing the badge.

Keep on Cattin'!

Steve
 

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Death of Mercury Cougar

Well,I gotta say that on one hand it's very sad to see the Cougar get put to rest.After all,Cougar was the signature car of Lincoln-Mercury for many years.Do you remember all of the t.v. commercials featuring the slogan"At The Sign of the Cat",and the cougar pearched on top of the sign?So,in that regard you might say that Cougar was one of the most important,best loved cars that Mercury ever produced.
On the other hand,the new version is pretty much junk and it was a big mistake for Ford to retool it the way that they did.I really liked the late 90s' version of the Cougar-rear wheel drive and a sporty V-8(Or V-6 that wasn't too bad). Not to mention a decent looking body and smooth,comfortable ride.All in all,a pretty nice vechicle.Now the body style introduced in late 1998 as a 1999 model is kind of cute,but they have given it a small V-6,front wheel drive,175h.p.engine that makes the car basically a throw-away vechicle.Or you can get it in a wimpy 4 cylinder version....YUCK!!!Not to mention that the 4 cylinder model costs as much as (if not more than)the 1997 V-6 equipped model(the last year that Cougar was a real car,if you ask me).So it's kind of a good thing that Ford has decided to put Cougar to rest.At least for now....You know,it might be kind of nice if Ford reintroduced Cougar as a retro model with many similarities to the original 1967 body style.Hmmmm.......
 
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