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Mercury Cougar, Hatchback
For Cougar lovers everywhere!
#818 of 1952 The Cougar S Is Not Dead! It's Been Replaced
Mar 20, 2001 (6:36 pm)
I had to drop back in to pass along a suspicion I feel may well be a matter of fact. This revelation may not be news to those who have already figured this out. You may have been wondering why you still heard reports about testing being done on the high performance 3.0L all wheel drive platform for the Cougar, even though it's going to be cancelled soon. The Mondeo platform which spawned the now defunct Contour and Mystique, and soon to be defunct Cougar cost Ford $6 billion dollars to develop. They are not going to just cut their losses. They are going to at least attempt to recoup them. The Cougar was a great way to accomplish this since this type of vehicle made way better sense for this platform in this market (North America). But sales for whatever reason have been way too slow recently. And there are much higher profit margins in other vehicle categories. They can't justify selling us the Cougar S - a niche vehicle of a slow selling product in a small market segment with narrow profit margins - even with the cost savings of using the already developed SVT Contour mechanicals, when they can make much larger profits using all of this development work and money in a much more profitable vehicle category. I was reading an article in the February 13 edition of AMI Auto World Weekly about a new all wheel drive vehicle derived from the Ford Motor Company's Mondeo platform. It will source it's 2.5L 194 horsepower (sound familiar) and 3.0L 231 horsepower engines from a plant in Cleveland which only has so many to go around (not enough left over for Cougar S). If you've got an extra ten grand to spend (I know I don't), then grab your checkbook and get in line. The Cougar S is now called the Jaguar X-Type. This higher price may or may not be accounted for with the Jaguar body and do-dads. But basically, everything that was meant for the Cougar S, from the original prototypes 3.0L all wheel drive to the 2.5L from the SVT Contour that was originally watered down from 200 horsepower to 196 and now 194 is here on the same platform. Coincidence? I don't think so. This is not inside information, just a deduction. You may think the brand managers are being up front with you. But they are not allowed to discuss future product, even if the facts are published for all the world to see, unless they are told they can. That's probably why you haven't heard anything from them since the Cougar S was officially cancelled. It looks as though all the trim pieces like the gauges that light up blue at night and the metal pedals that would have made the Cougar S unique have already been divvied up amongst what's left of the Cougar line up. Please don't kill the messenger. I feel just as betrayed about this as you do. I have been waiting since the original prototype was introduced and even had an order in for one of these for what seems like the longest time. I am now like you trying to find a comparable alternative (200 horsepower front wheel drive sport coupe priced around $20K). The problem is, there are none from Ford Motor Company (Mitsubishi Eclipse, Dodge Stratus R/T, Chrysler Sebring LXi, Honda Accord Coupe, Honda Prelude, Oldsmobile Alero, Pontiac Grand Am, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Toyota Solara, Volkswagen GTI). You get the idea. These are all good candidates, but each one is lacking in one-way or another (looks, space under the front seats for rear seat passengers feet, braking, weight, acceleration,...). The Cougar in it's present form, although priced right, doesn't have enough power. I have to make a decision soon because my 1990 Probe GT which has served me well for over 11 years is getting long in the tooth. They could just rebadge the Cougar a Ford since the handwriting is on the wall for Mercury anyway. But I don't think they want the Jaguar X-Type's doors blown off by a Cougar S that sells for a lot less and brings in a lot less profit. Wish me luck on finding a replacement. We're all going to need it.
#819 of 1952 Too good to come to pass?
Mar 20, 2001 (7:37 pm)
If a 4-wheel drive 3 liter coupe appears on the Mondeo platform, I'm going for it no matter what it's called. That car has the potential to be fun.
Besides, Jaguar owners are used to having pieces fall off their cars.
Mar 21, 2001 (5:52 am)
You forgot to mention our brief conversation on internal combustion detonation and the long term effects it has on your engine. Although brief, it was very informative.
Ok you may be right about the "S" being a testing bed for the Jag, but what difference does it make? The Cougar-S is kaput, and that is what a lot of us were looking forward to. I can't afford a Jag, I can't even afford the insurance on a Jag, so this speculation (if it comes true) doesn't help me, and I'm sure a lot of others feel the same way.
Also, the concept "S" was equipped with all wheel drive and a 3.0L V6. Both of these were dropped early on, and the would-be production "S" was a front wheel driver with a hyped up 2.5L Duratech.
I don't mean to sound snippy with you. This is just a real sore subject for a lot of us. It will take some time for the disappointment to fade away.
#821 of 1952 dash rattles
Mar 21, 2001 (5:52 am)
Hi everyone. Been a while since I posted (although I read the posts every day).
A while back someone described a rattle in the vicinity of the air bag on the passenger side (duct for vent??) Does anyone know a do-it-yourself fix for this?
Mar 21, 2001 (5:53 am)
Nice flag, eh?
Mar 21, 2001 (5:56 am)
(Badulah gets up on top of his desk, stands up straight, and clears his throat)
O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Mar 21, 2001 (6:13 am)
It might of been me that mentioned the rattles located in the passenger airbag vacinity. This is only one rattle I was able to fix and unfortunately several others have sprouted up in it's place!!!!
Here's what I did to fix it: Open your glove box and place your hand in the opening between the upper part of the glove box(lip) and the edge of the dash. If you put your hand up in the dash board you will feel a plastic vent. Pull the vent towards the rear of the car gently but firmly. Mine sort of snapped in. It appears the vent had come loose. I hope this helps. Please ask if you need more help!!
#825 of 1952 Hi, all -- cool flags!
Mar 21, 2001 (8:21 am)
Hope everyone is having a nice, albeit a very winter-like March 2001.
FLAGS: Like those national flags -- is that an Edmunds.com profile feature or something you added to your profile as a photo option?
WATER LEAKS: Well, it rained like chicks crying during "Steel Magnolias" here in Atlanta yesterday. Luckily, the window leaks on my '99 Cougar V-6 appear to crop up only (a) in automatic carwashes and (b) when 45mph wind gusts force rainwater in while the car is parked. The latter happened yesterday.
NEW COUPE IN THE WORKS: Did anyone fork out more than $20K for a loaded Cougar in 1999? Just curious. Between then and now, you might have saved enough extra to plop down $26K for the upcoming Mercedes-Benz C-class coupe (a.k.a. hatchback in the vein of the BMW 318ti). It arrives in the U.S. this summer.
6-speed manual transmission, glass roof with automatic sunshades, and tons of standard safety features. It comes with a Kompressor engine, which I guess means supercharged. Also standard traction and skid protection control systems. Check it out in last week's issue of AutoWeek.
BADULAH -- WEB VIDEO: Badulah -- get in touch with me if you're still interested in posting/hosting some web video from Cougar events.
Y'all have a nice week.
#826 of 1952 Holy national symbol, Batman! I have a flag!
Mar 21, 2001 (8:23 am)
Never mind my earlier question -- Edmunds.com Town Hall automatically answered it
Mar 21, 2001 (8:24 am)
Sounds like a good deal, but I bet the insurance here in NJ will be sky high.
Legal robbery is what it is!!