Also by 1974, the Cougar was in the process of evolving from a luxurious pony car alternative into a personal luxury coupe—along the lines of the Ford Thunderbird. The final straw, the one that told the world Mercury had really lost its way, was the introduction of the 1974 Mercury Cougar station wagon. In the long list of bad ideas for the brand, that one ranks very highly on the de-evolutionary scale of Mercury automobiles.
In fact, the Cougar was such an integral part of Mercury’s brand identity, the product planning team starting naming other Mercury models after cats to remind people they were Mercurys. Thus was born the Mercury Lynx and the Mercury Bobcat automobiles in response to the need to downsize after the 1973 energy crisis.