1984 Mercury Cougar XR-7

Entering its second year of the new body style, the big news for the sleek Cougar was the addition of a performance XR-7 model, while the GS and LS models gained slight refinement and subtle tweaks throughout.



Cougar XR-7

In late 1983 Ford snuck out the performance-oriented Thunderbird Turbo Coupe to great success, but Mercury division waited until the start of the 1984 model year for the Cougar XR-7’s grand unveiling. Under the hood was a 2.3L (140 cid) OHC inline 4-cylinder whose roots dated back to the Pinto, but with a big twist: this motor was now turbocharged. Benefitting from modern electronics and ditching the older downdraft carburetor method of induction, this boosted 2.3L engine was replete with electronic fuel injection and produced a respectable (for its day) 145hp. The base transmission was a metric C3 automatic; optional was a T-5 manual 5-speed, which has proven to be a rather rare option. The combination made this Cat exceptionally balanced and light on its feet. Power was put to the pavement via a 7.5″ rear axle with 3.45 gears, Traction-Lok and horizontal axle dampers. Control was via nitrogen-filled shocks and struts, and spring rates were revised for better handling. Sway bars were fatter in both the front and rear. A slightly smaller gas tank lent itself well to the fuel-sipping 4-cylinder and had the added benefit of dropping a little weight. Although most Fox-chassis vehicles in general were not portly, the Cougar’s larger overhang behind the rear wheels had the tendency to add weight and reduce balance. Ford engineers did a commendable job in keeping the Cougar XR-7 as light as possible.

The XR-7 model, with its 2.3L turbocharged I-4 engine, joined the previous GS and LS models and further defined the Cougar lineup for 1984.

Visually the Cougar XR-7 was set apart from other Cougars by its blacked-out window trim, wide body side moldings, body-colored mirrors, flat unique XR-7 hood ornament, grey lower half with tri-band striping, and the “EFI TURBO” badge on the front fender. The XR-7s also seem to have lost the chrome accents on their taillights, although this is an undocumented change thus far. Wheel choices were either the 14″ polycast road wheels or the metric 390mm TRX wheels. Inside, the interior got a slight overhaul with a classy two-tone grey scheme, and a boost gauge was added due to the turbocharger. Sport bucket seats with manual adjustable lumbar were standard on the XR-7.

The fuel-injected 2.3 turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine produced 145 hp, and could be mated to either a 3-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual transmission.


The XR-7 interior was replete with sporty touches, from the sport door panels to unique dark dash panels to fully adjustable Recaro-style articulated bucket seats. For 1984-85 the XR-7 was only available in a two-tone grey interior. Shown here is an XR-7 with cloth articulated seats in Charcoal and Oxford.


The XR-7 instrument cluster with the integrated boost gauge. Note the lack of temperature and oil gauges. Shown also is the optional XR-7-only 4-spoke steering wheel without cruise control. This wheel was used in Mustangs and Capris of the era, but was rather uncommon to be found in a Cougar. It was only available in 1984 on the XR-7.

The 2.3L inline-4 turbo engine was first used in the XR-7 and Turbo Coupe; later it would find its way into the Mustang SVO.

The T-5 manual transmission was likely a rare option for 1984.

Horizontal axle dampers, aka “quad shocks”, helped keep the rear axle stabilized.

A closer look at the XR-7’s unique brushed black dash panels with logo.

The leather interior option for the 1984 XR-7 yielded Charcoal solid-color seating.

The XR-7 had a unique hood ornament that went through 1986.

Cougar LS

The Cougar LS received virtually no exterior changes save for the removal of fender emblems and the new flat hood ornament. The LS retained the chrome strips on the B-pillar trim as well as the electroluminescent coach lamps and bright rocker panel trim.


The interior of Cougar LS in Charcoal with optional leather seats. Note the woodgrain dash panels, which again were LS-only. The steering wheel was still color-keyed but was of a new A-frame design, which helped with visibility of the gauges.


The LS interior in Canyon Red with cloth seating.

In the U.S. the base 3.8L V6 engine added computer-controlled central fuel injection (CFI) for 8 more horsepower than the previous year, now up to 120 hp. Canadian models retained carbureted V6 engines until 1985.

The 5.0L CFI V8 was again offered as an option on both the GS and LS models. Power output remained the same at 130 hp but also gained the new EEC-IV engine control system.


Cougar GS

Changes to the base GS model in 1984 were also very subtle. The B-pillar trim lost the chrome accents, and the aforementioned flat hood ornament was all new.


The interior of Cougar GS in Academy Blue cloth. Note the new color-keyed A-frame steering wheel and brushed aluminum-style dash panels, which were slightly darker than the previous model year.

The full electronic instrument cluster required a black steering wheel and black steering column covers.

The new flat hood ornament was dimensional and replaced the stand-up hood ornament from the previous model year.

The front turn signal, inset into the bumper, was now amber from 1984-86, although early ’84s could have leftover white ones from the previous model year run.


The differences between the 1983 and 1984 Cougars were subtle but refined nonetheless, with definite forward progress. Sales continued to skyrocket, easily becoming one of the most successful Cougar sales years in quite some time. In some markets Ford was selling more of its midsize rear-drive cars with two models (Thunderbird, Cougar) than GM with its four aging G-bodies (Monte Carlo, Grand Prix, Cutlass, Regal). And in NASCAR, the Thunderbird’s slippery shape paved the way for many wins over its competition. Still, with its new-found success, Ford was not about to stand idly by—the company could now allot funds for the T-Bird/Cougar program and finally address something that needed the most immediate help: the interior.

  • Radio panels (satin silver outline was one year only)
  • Color-keyed A-frame steering wheel (only year for color-keyed A-frame)
  • GS brushed aluminum dash panels (darker than 1983 panels)
  • GS gauge cluster (brushed aluminum darker than 1983 cluster)
  • GS door panels (no emblems)
  • LS door panels (no emblems)
  • XR7 front bumper cover (no fog lamp cutouts like the Turbo Coupe)
  • XR7 taillights (lack of chrome accents)
  • XR7 dash panels (dark ebony brushed treatment)
  • XR7 gauge cluster (one year only)
  • XR7 4-spoke sport wheel center (only year for this wheel)
  • XR7 door panels (no emblems; some had cargo net instead of map pockets)
  • XR7 interior (Charcoal/Oxford combo would show up later but this is the only year for this dash in an XR-7)
  • XR7 14″ polycast road wheel center caps (XR7 logo instead of cat head)
  • Wheat interior color (one year only)
  • Pastel Academy Blue Metallic exterior color (light blues were unique to each model year)

Tech Specs


GS: 120 hp CFI 3.8L (232 cid) V6; optional 130 hp CFI 5.0L (302 cid) V8
LS: 120 hp CFI 3.8L (232 cid) V6; optional 130 hp CFI 5.0L (302 cid) V8
XR7: 145 hp MPI OHC turbocharged 2.3L (140 cid) I-4
3-speed automatic (C3) – XR-7 only, standard
5-speed manual (T-5) – XR-7 only, optional
3-speed automatic (C5) – all V6 models
4-speed overdrive automatic (AOD) – all V8 models
Front: 10.0″ vented disc
Rear: 9.0″ drum
Wheelbase: 104.0″
Overall Length: 197.6″
Overall Width: 71.1″
Overall Height: 53.4″
Cargo Capacity: 14.6 cubic feet w/mini spare; 13.2 cubic feet with full spare
Fuel Capacity: 21.0 gallons (GS & LS); 18.0 gallons (XR7)
GS: 3,065 lbs.
XR7: 3,053 lbs.
All 1984 Cougars had the flat hood ornament and the new color-keyed A-frame steering wheel. Carried over were the 3-tier taillights. Chrome trim on the B-pillars (except for the LS model) is now gone. The XR-7 model has dark grey lower accents with 3 stripes. The 1984 XR-7’s have no fog lights.
Cougar XR-7 4-140 2.3L SOHC Turbo Safety Recalls
1. 477S MAR 84 Identification of Vehicles Requiring Final “D-Ring” Attachment
Cougar XR-7 4-140 2.3L SOHC Turbo General Recalls
1. 87M50 APR 87 Inspection and Replacement of Thick Film Ignition Modules
V6-232 3.8L Safety Recalls
1. 477S MAR 84 Identification of Vehicles Requiring Final “D-Ring” Attachment
V6-232 3.8L Emissions Recalls
1. U7J840301 MAR 84 Replacement of the Exhaust Air Supply Control Valve
V8-302 5.0L Safety Recalls
1. 477S MAR 84 Identification of Vehicles Requiring Final “D-Ring” Attachment
V8-302 5.0L Emissions Recalls
1. 90E94 MAY 91 Emissions Recall 90E94

Production Breakdown

TOTAL: 131,190

Note: We will post separate model breakdown figures when we get them.

1984 Mercury Cougar XR-7

1984 Cougar Wheels


Left to right: TRX 390mm aluminum wheel; 14″ locking wire wheel cover; 14″ polycast road wheel; 14″ polycast road wheel (XR7 only); 14″ luxury wheel cover (standard on LS); 14″ deluxe wheel cover (standard on GS).



NOTE: S=standard, O=optional

3.8L V6 engine with electronic central fuel injection (CFI) S S
2.3L EFI 4-cylinder turbocharged engine S
Electronic fuel-injected 5.0 liter V8 engine with automatic overdrive transmission O O
Five-speed manual transmission O
Automatic three-speed transmission with locking torque converter S S S
Variable-ratio power rack-and-pinion steering S S
Power rack-and-pinion steering with 15:1 non-variable ratio for increased power steering effort and road feel S
Power brakes (front disc, rear drum) S S S
Disc brake audible wear sensors (front only) S S S
P195/75R14 WSW low rolling resistance steel-belted radial tires, all-season S S S
Four-bar link coil spring rear suspension with Nitra-cushion front struts and rear shocks S S S
Hybrid MacPherson strut front suspension with stabilizer bar S S S
Handling suspension O O S
18-gallon fuel tank S
21-gallon fuel tank S S
Dual braking system with brake failure warning light S S S
Dual fluidic windshield washer system S S S
Dual rectangular halogen headlamps S S S
Individual contour sport seats in cloth trim with dual seatback recliners and inertia seatback release S
Luxury cloth Contour Sport seats in unique sew style S
Functional sport seats in Oxford Grey cloth with special sew style S
Door trim panels with Oxford Grey cloth inserts S
Full console S S S
Charcoal floor console with Oxford Grey armrest pad cover S
Analog clock S S S
A-frame steering wheel with center hub horn control S S S
AM radio with dual instrument panel speakers (could be deleted for credit) S S S
Color-keyed seat belts with tension reliever S S S
Steering column-mounted controls for wiper/washer, high/low headlamp beam, horn and turn signal** S S S
Full, soft door trim panels with door pull straps, door map pockets and carpeted lower portion S S S
16-oz floor carpeting S
Luxury 16-oz floor charcoal carpeting S
24-oz carpeting S
Passenger side vanity mirror S
Rear compartment courtesy lights S
Black leather-wrapped 4-spoke sport steering wheel S
Tachometer with boost and overboost lights in instrument panel S
Dark Elm Burl woodtone instrument panel appliques S
** Note: Some early 1984 models had both a stalk-mounted and a steering wheel-mounted horn. The stalk mount horn was technically not an official feature for 1984 although they do exist as carryovers from 1983. The turn signal stalk lost the horn function sometime during the early production of 1984 models.
Bodyside accent stripes S S
Oxford Grey tri-band lower tape stripe S
Left-hand remote control mirror (bright) S
Dual power remote-control mirrors O S S
Vertical bar grille with bright surround molding S S
Deluxe wheel covers S S
Bright accent moldings S S
Lower bodyside molding with black vinyl insert S S
Tinted glass O S S
Power windows O S S
Luxury door and quarter trim panels S
Carpeted luggage compartment trim S
Bright rocker panel molding O S
Luxury wheel covers O S
Hood accent stripes O S O
Electroluminescent coach lamps O S
Air conditioning, manual O O O
Air conditioning, automatic O O O
Anti-theft alarm system O O O
Auto-lamp on/off delay system O O O
Traction-Lok axle O O S
Heavy duty battery O O S
Front license plate bracket O O O
Electronic digital clock O O O
Front cornering lamps O O O
Electric rear window defroster O O O
Illuminated entry system O O O
Locking fuel filler door O O O
Front carpeted floor mats O O O
Dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors O O O
Automatic dim day/night rearview mirror O O O
Automatic parking brake release O O O
Clearcoat metallic paint O O O
Two-tone paint O O
Lower bodyside protection O O O
Half-vinyl roof O O
Flip up open air sunroof O O O
Functional sport driver and passenger seats O O S
Fingertip speed control O O O
Leather wrapped steering wheel (required speed control except on XR7) O O S
Tilt steering wheel O O O
Tripminder computer O O
Vent windows (require tinted glass and dual electric mirrors) O O O
Interval windshield wipers O O O
Power antenna O O O
6-way power driver’s seat O O O
6-way dual power seats O O O
BSW = black sidewall; WSW = white sidewall
P195/75R14 BSW radial O O
P195/75R14 WSW low rolling resistance steel-belted radial tires, all-season O O
P205/70R14 BSW radial O O S
P205/70R14 WSW radial O O
220/55R390 BSW radial O O O
TRX-type aluminum wheels O O O
Polycast road wheels O O S
Wire locking wheel covers (not available with TRX tires, aluminum wheels or polycast wheels) O O
AM/FM stereo O O O
AM/FM stereo with cassette O O O
Electronic AM/FM stereo search O O O
Electronic AM/FM stereo search with cassette O O O
Premium sound system O O O
Warning lights for the following: check oil, low fuel, low washer fluid, low beam out, taillamps out, door ajar, brake lamp out
Includes digital speedometer, electronic fuel gauge, electronic digital clock, unique cluster trim cover
Includes 16-oz floor carpet and luxury luggage compartment trim, spare tire cover carpet
Includes engine compartment light, dual-beam dome/map light and instrument panel courtesy lights
Includes power door locks and power decklid release
Includes heavy-duty shocks, rear springs and rear stabilizer bar
Includes illuminated entry system. Requires power lock group
Includes cloth pouch with disposable flashlight, coated gloves, screwdriver handle with four bits, two light bulbs, one box of fuses, pliers, tire pressure indicator, two triangular emergency plastic reflectors, jumper cables and first aid kit
1984 Mercury Cougar XR-7

Exterior Colors

All information about your interior and exterior colors can be found on the vehicle certification label, located inside the driver’s door jamb. For the exterior colors listed below, the paint code is also listed next to each color.

NOTE: Colors are an approximate representation. Due to differences in screen types and settings, true accurate color representation is not possible.


Standard Exterior Colors
1C / Black
9L / Oxford White
6C / Light Wheat
6D / Wheat
2E / Light Canyon Red
2J / Midnight (Medium) Canyon Red
Clearcoat Exterior Colors
1Y / Dark Charcoal Metallic
1Q / Silver Metallic
2U / Medium Red Metallic
9J / Pastel Desert Tan
91 / Pastel Academy Blue Metallic
3A / Dark Academy Blue Metallic
9S / Walnut Metallic
Tu-Tone Exterior Colors
1Q Silver Metallic / 1Y Dark Charcoal Metallic
1C Black / 1Y Dark Charcoal Metallic
XR-7 Two-Tone Exterior Colors
9L Oxford White / 1Q Silver Metallic
1C Black / 1Q Silver Metallic
1Y Dark Charcoal / 1Q Silver Metallic
1Q Silver Metallic /1Y Dark Charcoal Metallic
2U Medium Red Metallic / 1Q Silver Metallic *
* Currently not officially documented but believed to be a late running addition.


Interior Seating and Door Panels

GS Model
Standard Contour Sport Seats in Charcoal Cloth

GS Model
Optional Functional Sport Seats in Desert Tan Cloth

LS Model
Standard Contour Sport Seats in Academy Blue Cloth

XR-7 Model
Standard Functional Sports Seats in Oxford Grey Cloth

Interior Color and Trim Availability

This is a two-character code on the vehicle certification label. The first character is the material and seat type; the second character is the color.