The cat is back. Leaner, meaner and aesthetically cleaner, the new generation Cougar is an enthusiast's car, pure and simple. Mercury designers made a bold statement with the '99 model by sculpting the Cougar's trim profile with New Edge styling cues. New Edge is the latest in design, replacing soft, rounded contours with sharp, harder body lines.
Distinctive designs inspire creativity, and in the case of the new Cougar, no sooner was this cat out of the bag than unconventional thinkers at Ford's Special Vehicle Engineering group were ready to customize it.
Though conceived and executed by SVE, one of the primary goals of the Eliminator transformation project was to use off-the-shelf aftermarket high- performance components, so new Cougar owners could replicate many of the modifications and build a hot cat of their own.
With the Cougar's radical new styling driving the project, the intent was to accentuate rather than alter the car's distinctive body lines. To accomplish this and
visually lower the car, SVE installed a ground-effects package from Inform Designs. Inform also produced the rear spoiler and sheet-molded compound hood with an integral scoop that hints of something special lurking in Cougar's engine bay. The custom body work is highlighted by a stunning coat of PPG Harlequin Chrom-O-Flair paint, which changes hues depending on the light and angle of view.
In stock trim, the Cougar's new 2.5-liter, 24-valve DOHC Duratec V-6 produces a stout 170 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 165 foot-pounds of torque at 4,250 rpm. The engine draws air through a K&N air filter to a Vortech supercharger that boosts performance significantly, allowing the Cougar to run with the world's fastest sports cars.
What would a custom Cougar be without a "cat-back" exhaust system? Eliminator gets its growl from a stainless steel Borla system with quad carbon fiber tips. At the other end of the performance spectrum, stopping power is enhanced by the addition of a massive set of Brembo four-wheel disc brakes with drilled rotors.
This cat claws at the road with aggressive 225/40R18 Goodyear Eagle GS F1 performance radials mounted on 18- by 8-inch Enkei VX-1 alloy wheels from TSW. Eliminator's ride height is lowered 1-1/2 inches by the addition of stiffer Eibach front and rear springs.
The interior wasn't forgotten in the transformation. Hidden behind the tinted side glass and distinctive Visteon Cougar rear window are a set of Recaro Sport seats. Other interior details include a leather and carbon fiber Momo steering wheel with integral air bag, a Hurst aluminum and carbon fiber shift knob and sport pedals. A set of custom floor mats from Visscher Caravelle add a finishing touch to the interior.
In Mercury's Cougar Eliminator, living life on the edge has its rewards.
|The concept car is a front-wheel drive Cougar, with a supercharged 2.5 DOHC V-6 engine, suspension enhancements, and appearance items. |
In 2.5 liter form, this is a car that you could duplicate on your own.
|The interior is highlighted by a matching set of Recaro seats.|
|Very subtle front air damn, hood scoop (non-functional), and side skirts.|
|The concept car was debuted at SEMA in 1998.|
|The Vortech equipped 2.5 DOHC SVT engine. |
According to John Coletti (Houston MCA show in September 1999), this engine has now grown to 3 liters and has gone from 250 horses to 325.