After a 73-year run, Ford killed off Mercury in 2010. Throughout its history, Mercury was intended to bridge the gap between the everyman’s Ford and the more luxurious Lincoln brands. In its later years, it was producing bland and beige rebadged Ford products that served little to no purpose, resulting in lackluster sales, and eventually, a trip behind the wood shed. But if you look throughout Mercury’s past, the marque actually produced many great vehicles. Maybe the best of them all was the Mercury Cougar. The first two generations were arguably the best, as they were based on the Ford Mustang at the time. As a result, the Cougar offered a comfier, more relaxed muscle car experience. Something the market could perhaps use more of.
If Mercury were still around, and made a Cougar with the original Mustang formula, what would it look like? Rendering artist Abimelec Design has given his great looking interpretation, revealed in an Instagram post.
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Time for a new “what if”! This time we’re going to change it up a bit as we’re not imagining a new model in the past, but resurrecting a defunct brand and model. A follower messaged me a couple weeks ago with this idea and I thought it was brilliant, this car is often overlooked and I think it could be something really cool, despite not making too much sense in today’s market. This car is the Mercury Cougar. It was a “sports luxury coupe” manufactured by Mercury alongside the Mustang for a long time, up until ‘97. They made a Mondeo-based Cougar after that but we’ll gloss over that 😂. What you see here is a concept for a 2021 model based off the current Mustang. Think of it as a Continental but with 2 doors less and way more athletic. Perhaps a competitor to the Lexus LC, BMW 8-Series and Jaguar F-Type. Under the hood sits a 3.5 EcoBoost (to differentiate it to the Mustang) with the Raptor tune- this means 450 ponies and 510 ft-lbs of torque. As far as colors, trim and interior I wanted to mix a bit of new Ford with old flare from the ‘60s Cougar. Swipe through the pics and tell me which color you think suits best! I love the green on green and black on tan combo myself. Ford isn’t making coupes anymore besides the Mustang, plus Mercury has been dead since 2011 so this is extremely unlikely, in fact, its absolutely impossible, but hey, good design exercise I think. Do you like it? Hope you do! Have a great Sunday! ☀️ . . . . . . . . #mercury #cougar #ford #mustang #muscle #coupe #v6 #ecoboost #turbo #resurrected #custom #rebody #3d #render
The render is based on the current Ford Mustang, aligning with the original ethos of the Cougar. The front end takes inspiration from first-generation model, with a wide black grill, featuring a little pinch in the middle for the Cougar badge. While not noted, the headlights could flip out from the grille.
The side and rear profiles are are closer to the Mustang. The doors feature a downward swooping character line from ’69 and ’70 models. Around back, the Mustang three-bar taillights have been swapped for two horizontal units (likely shaped from a Dodge Challenger, it seems), while the rear wing appears to be from a Shelby Mustang GT350R. Overall, the exterior is incorporates design from older Cougars, but is similar enough to the Mustang that its feasible Ford could make it today.
The rendering is more than just exterior, though. Inside, there is some very beige leather and wood trim, hinting at the luxury focus. The artist’s post also theorizes powertrain possibilities. To further differentiate the Cougar from the Mustang, it has the same 3.5 liter Ecoboost V6 from the F-150 Raptor. This gives it a healthy 450 hp and 510 ft-lbs of torque.
The artist says the modern Cougar would compete against coupes like the Lexus LC and BMW 8 Series. And because the render isn’t too dramatically different from the Mustang, it would be cool to see someone give the Mustang a Cougar treatment on the aftermarket, much like the Firebird conversions available today for the Chevrolet Camaro.