Mercury Cougar S Concept

Introduced: Geneva show - 1999


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The Cougar S Concept is an all-wheel drive Cougar with a 3 liter modular engine.

J Mays oversaw the design of the car - you can see his trademark "touches" including the rounded/flared wheel arches.

Sadly, there are no production plans. The European ST250 Cougar is essentially a Cougar with an SVT Contour engine and suspension. Any possible American version would be nearly identical since they would both be built at the same Flat Rock site.

The Cougar S Concept has a slightly wider rear track.

The driveline is taken from an all-wheel drive Mondeo prototype. The driveline was developed in Europe for the Mondeo years ago, but never went into production.

The interior is nearly stock, except for the much-improved seats.


Ford Cougar S concept pounces at Geneva show

GENEVA, March 9, 1999 --- It is known as the "attack cat" for good reason. The Ford Cougar S Concept makes its European debut at the 1999 Geneva International Motor Show with an impressive performance edge to Ford Cougar's established fun-to-drive style.

"Ford Cougar S Concept starts with the feline elegance of Ford's New Edge styling and the carefully crafted driving dynamics that have made the Ford Cougar production range a 'head turner' on the demanding roads of Europe," says Will Boddie, Vice President of Ford's Small and Medium Vehicle Centre. "We then added a healthy dose of confident aggression and the result was a cat with truly predatory instincts."

Ford Cougar S Concept is both powerful and sure-footed. Its "attack-cat" attitude comes from the combination of 200PS+ power and all-wheel-drive technology.

The concept vehicle is the product of Ford's Advanced Design and Special Vehicle Engineering teams. Sleeker, lower and wider than its production counterpart, the Ford Cougar S Concept sends a clear signal that it has something special under its skin.

Ford Cougar S Concept is powered by a 3.0-litre 24-valve Duratec engine which delivers 215 PS. The strong-breathing engine is a half-litre larger in capacity than its production V6 counterpart, and fed by a modified intake system that draws air through a functional "hood scoop" at the base of the windscreen. A modified exhaust system emits a subtly ominous growl.

The Ford Cougar S Concept takes all weather conditions in its stride by virtue of an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system enhanced by a wider track - delivering sustained power to all four wheels and making the car as nimble and as powerful as the big cat from which it takes its name.

A 5-speed MTX-75 manual transmission, specially modified to accommodate the AWD system, smoothly links the engine and drivetrain, allowing the driver to change gear and accelerate seamlessly. A prerequisite for the concept car was to retain the production Ford Cougar's trademark characteristic of crisp, precise gear shifting.

To match the uprated power and handling capabilities, Ford Cougar S is fitted with larger brakes than the standard production model. Brembo four-piston, 13.1-inch front and two-piston 11-inch rear brakes allow for precise, responsive stopping control on demand.

"Sitting one inch lower and with a front and rear track that is three inches wider, the Ford Cougar S Concept requires a comprehensive aerodynamic package for optimal performance", says Ford Special Vehicle Engineering chief engineer John Coletti.

Matching Ford Cougar S Concept's increased horsepower and improved AWD handling characteristics required meticulous attention to detail from Ford's aerodynamicists.

A unique front fascia with integrated fog lamps and a lower brushed aluminum grille for improved cooling set the tone for the performance element of the car's dynamic styling. The Ford Cougar S also sports rocker panels which extend lower than the production versions for improved aerodynamics, and a unique rear fascia with integrated twin exhaust pipes.

The car's air flow is improved by anti-splash wheel arches which accommodate the car's widened stance. These features, together with its 18-inch wheels and Goodyear 235/40ZR18 Eagle GS tires, contribute strongly to the vehicle's robust, stable and safe handling characteristics.

The dynamic profile of the Ford Cougar S Concept is completed by eye-catching dual rear spoilers. While one spoiler is placed in the traditional decklid position, the second extends from the rear header for more downforce.

The interior of the Ford Cougar S Concept satisfies the demands of the performance car driver without sacrificing any of the refinement and features expected with any Ford Cougar.

Bucket-style Recaro racing seats mould around the driver and passenger to provide complete support and comfort, even during spirited driving.

The alloy clutch, brake and accelerator pedal covers accentuate the sporty feel of the car, and are matched by custom graphics on the instrument panel.

"All of these modifications combine to enhance the Ford Cougar S Concept's driving pleasure, explained Coletti.

"The standard Ford Cougar is already an impressive package. Starting with this made our job much easier and allowed us to do much more," Coletti said. "Almost everyone enjoys driving Ford Cougar. We wanted to take this to the next level, with more power, all-wheel-drive, and upgraded aerodynamics."

Cougar performance concept: Attack cat

LOS ANGELES, December 30, 1998 -- Mercury's new Cougar S concept car builds on the aggressive driving dynamics and styling that is making the production Cougar a customer favorite in dealerships.  

Ford's Advanced Design Team and Special Vehicle Engineering developed this concept with the goal of enhancing each of Cougar's trademarks -- agility, power and personality. Mercury hopes the Cougar S will appeal to young hot rodders much like the production version is changing the car's image with a more broad youth audience.

"The production Cougar is important in re-establishing the Mercury name with younger buyers," said Mike Jennings, Cougar brand manager. "In the same way, Cougar S is very important for the exploding market of young car enthusiasts who are increasingly looking to modify front- or all-wheel-drive imports with smaller engines."

Cougar S is a dream come true for tweakers and tuners. The production Cougar's 2.5-liter 24-valve V6 Duratec engine was enlarged a half liter to pump out 215 horsepower with the help of modified intake and exhaust systems. A functional front hood air scoop feeds this larger engine.

These modifications are similar to the successful formula applied to the SVT Contour's refined Duratec powerplant. The avid car enthusiast will find Cougar S has another SVT feature, larger brakes --13.1-inch front and 11-inch rear Brembo brakes -- for quick and precise stops.

The Cougar S handles all conditions with an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system that is accommodated by a wider track - a combination that further likens the car to the nimble cat which gets power from all four legs. The engine and drivetrain are smoothly linked by a 5-speed MTX-75 manual transmission which has been specially modified to accommodate the AWD system.

"Starting with such an impressive package as the Cougar made our job much easier and allowed us to do much more," says John Coletti, chief engineer, Ford Special Vehicle Engineering. "Almost everyone enjoys driving Cougar. Just imagine the car with more power, all-wheel-drive, and upgraded aerodynamics!"

The Ford team paid particular attention to match the concept's aerodynamics to the increased horsepower and improved AWD handling characteristics. Cougar S sports upgraded body panels for a lower, more aerodynamic stance, perfect for 'S' turns.

A unique front fascia sets the performance tone with integrated fog lamps and a lower brushed aluminum grille for improved cooling. Stylish rocker panels extend lower than the production versions for improved aerodynamics.

Anti-splash wheel lips add functional flavor by improving the car's air flow and accommodating the car's widened stance. These treatments accentuate the car's unique 18-inch wheels wear Goodyear 235/40ZR 18 Eagle GS tires, both making for a more fun and stable ride.

The Cougar S aero package culminates with an attention-grabbing dual-spoiler rear treatment, including a unique design with integrated exhaust pipes. The design is both creative and functional as one spoiler is placed in the traditional decklid position and a second extends from the rear header for more downforce.

Inside, the Cougar S appeals to the performance minded with driver and passenger Recaro racing seats as well as unique alloy clutch, brake and accelerator pedals. The functional changes are matched by unique graphics on the instrument panel.

A hint of things to come this powerful and extremely nimble Cougar recognizes the growing trend for performance personalization in the small specialty segment.





3.0L 24 Valve Duratec

Modified intake/exhaust.

215 hp



5-speed MTX-75 with viscous-drive limited slip differential to accommodate all-wheel drive (AWD)


Lowered, front and rear tread extended 3", spring modifications to accommodate AWD


All-wheel drive

4.06 final drive ratio




Brembo 13.1-inch front/11.0-inch rear disc brakes

4-piston front/2-piston rear calipers

Separate rear parking brake caliper

Wheels 18-inch three-piece alloy
Tires Goodyear 235/40ZR18 Eagle GS tires



Driver and passenger Recaro racing seats with unique materials

Alloy clutch, brake and accelerator pedals

Custom instrument cluster graphics

Exterior Unique front and rear fascias, rocker panels and wheel lips

Functional hood air intake

Dual rear spoilers