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.
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.