The Mercury Cougar enjoyed a long production lifespan and the title of being the highest-selling vehicle ever produced by the Mercury brand. Production began in 1967 and continued through 1997, and then was briefly revived in 1999 and produced to 2002. Its 34-year production is second only to the Grand Marquis in the Mercury model line. During its production life, it was marketed as a Mercury counterpart of a Ford vehicle. The first two generations were derived from the Ford Mustang, initially developed as a pony car, and replaced the Cyclone muscle car in the Mercury model line. The third and fourth generations adopted the chassis of the Ford Torino intermediate. The fifth and sixth generations rested on the compact Fox platform.
The 1984 Mercury Cougar was part of the sixth generation line was derived from the Ford Thunderbird and built as a two-door coupe. Within the Mercury line, the Cougar rested above the Capri and below the two-door Grand Marquis.
Both the Thunderbird and the Cougar were the first American automobiles to make use of aerodynamic-intensive design and were developed using computer-aided design (CAD). It continued to use the rear-wheel-drive Ford Fox platform from the fifth generation, although its wheelbase was shorter at 104-inches. It continued to use the traditional Fox-platform underpinnings, including a MacPherson strut/A-arm suspension in the front with a four-link coil-sprung solid rear axle. 14-inch wheels and tires were standard, as was the overhead valve 232 cubic-inch V8 engine with fuel injection offering 140 horsepower at 3,200 RPM. A 302 cubic-inch V-8 was optional. A SelectShift three-speed automatic with a lock-up converter as standard, and a four-speed overdrive and five-speed manual were optional (The five-speed was standard on the XR-7).
All engines received EEC-IV electronic controls.
The XR-7 returned to the line in 1984 with a base price of $13,060. The base coupe sold for $9,980 and the LS Coupe had a base price of $11,265. The XR-7 came with a handling suspension, high-performance tires, a tachometer, Quadra-Shock rear suspension, two horizontal dampers, and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine developing 145 hp.
The Cougar came with a variable-ratio power rack-and-pinion steering, recessed quad rectangular headlamps, wraparound amber side marker lenses, AM radio, bright wheel covers, power brakes, and driver's remote mirror. Amenities included a lighter, analog clock, full console, reminder chimes, min spare tire, and a full console with padded lid. There were bright moldings on the grille surround, belt, quarter and back windows, door frames, windshield, concealed drip, and bodyside.
The Cougar LS trim level added a wood-tone applique instrument panel, coach lamps, dual black power remote mirrors, tinted glass, bright rocker panel moldings, hood accent stripes, and power windows. The interior had a passenger visor vanity mirror and luxury cloth 40/40 seats.
The Cougar XR-7 added a tachometer, heavy-duty battery, charcoal floor console with Oxford gray armrest pad, black leather-wrapped four-spoke steering wheel, and silver metallic polycast wheels. It also included Oxford Gray tri-band lower tape striping, clearcoat metallic paint with lower accent, and color-keyed rear window moldings.By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2020