Mercury Cougar Fifth generation
|Assembly||United States: Lorain, Ohio|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||Two-door coupe Four-door sedan Four-door station wagon|
|Platform||Ford Fox platform|
|Related||Ford Thunderbird Ford Fairmont Ford Granada Mercury Zephyr|
|Engine||255 cu in (4.2 L) Windsor V8 302 cu in (4.9 L) Windsor V8 140 cu in (2.3 L) Lima I4 232 cu in (3.8 L) Essex V6|
|Transmission||Five-speed Tremec T-5 manual Three-speed C5 automatic Four-speed AOD automatic|
|Wheelbase||104 in (254 cm)|
For 1980, the Cougar was downsized to the 108-inch (2,700 mm) wheelbase Fox platform, shared with the Zephyr. The sedan and base coupe were dropped, leaving only the XR-7. Opera windows became optional, although the louvered style of the old opera windows was applied to the standard-window coupes. Wipers were no longer hidden, and for the first time, the Cougar had sedan frames around its windows. Inside, there was a turn to flashy electronics, considered ultramodern at the time, with digital instrumentation and trip computer functions available. A smaller 119 hp (89 kW) 255-in3 (4.2 L) V8 was the base engine, but this engine was considered weak and did not last long, and the 134 hp (100 kW) 302 V8 was optional, along with a newly introduced four-speed automatic overdrive transmission. Like the downsized Thunderbird, this generation was poorly received by the public.
In 1981, the return of the base Cougar along with a sedan greeted Cougar buyers; the sedan replaced the Mercury Monarch. The engine lineup grew as a 94 hp (70 kW) 200-in3 I6 became the standard engine in the XR-7 and an 88 hp (66 kW) 140-in3 I4 became the standard engine on the base Cougar, bringing with it a manual transmission. This marked the first time a four-cylinder engine was available on the Cougar, as well as the first time the XR-7 did not feature a standard V8. Appearance carried over, as well, but two new trim lines were added to the Cougars—GS and LS. Both packages were similar in both models, but the base Cougar's LS package only came on the sedan. The GS package focused on appearance, while the LS package offered luxury touches such as power windows and other luxury trim touches.
The Cougar lineup continued to expand in 1982, as the station wagon returned for another single-year appearance in the Cougar lineup. It was available in GS or Villager trim lines. The Villager trim added faux rosewood body side appliqué. Another engine was added, the all-new 112 hp (84 kW) 232-in3 V6, but the XR-7 line's 302 V8 was dropped. The GS and LS trim lines continued to be optional on both Cougar models.
Total Production: 1980: 58,028 1981: 90,928 1982: 73,817