1967 saw the introduction of Mercury's very own pony car, named the Cougar, it slotted in between the Ford Mustang and Ford Thunderbird. The Cougar would go on to become the performance icon for Mercury over the next several decades, with the 2-door hard top design and V8 power proving the most desirable model in the Mercury range. In an effort to separate the Cougar form the Mustang, Mercury opted for a more European design, with inspiration drawn from the very popular Jaguar E-Type.
Engine options started with the 200 hp (149 kW) 390 two-barrel V8 to the 335 hp (250 kW) 390 four-barrel V8. An optional GT package was available for both the base model and XR-7 versions of the Cougar. This package came with various performance enhancements for both the handling and engine of the car. The Mercury Cougar went on to win Motor Trend magazine's car of the year for 1967.