Mercury Cougar transformed into convincing Audi R8
The seventh-generation of the Mercury Cougar broke with tradition, switching from Detroit's classic front-engine, rear-wheel drive architecture to the more common front-engine, front-wheel drive design. Its styling was also considered pretty radical for the times, with swoopy curves replacing its predecessor's formal roof lines. We'd wager that the last Cougar's designers would never have believed that their humble compact would someday be the basis for an Audi R8 replica. We've examined the various shapes of the ReplicaAudiR8, as its designer refers to it - we prefer CougaR8 ourselves - and we've concluded it's not too shabby in the least. Take a look at our galleries below to judge for yourselves. Note our comparison shots of the CougaR8 and Audi's version in profile, front, rear and in three-quarter view (again, front and rear), which we've also pasted after the break all together. As we see it, the rear-view is the least successful in mimicking its four-ringed inspiration.
Of course, even if the styling of the replicar is decent, there's just no disguising that Cougar interior, despite the addition of a lone R8 badge on the steering wheel and the fact that these two cars share similar dash shapes. Even the interior, however, pales in comparison to the lack of power from Ford's 2.5L Duratec V6 engine, which at 170 horsepower is down by more than half to the Audi's burbling V8. Lastly, while the brakes and suspension components are fine for an entry-level coupe, they aren't quite up to snuff for a real-deal R8. In any case. Nevertheless, those who are more concerned with appearances than performance can get their own CougaR8 for about $50K - less than half what it would run to drive home in the real thing. Thanks for the tip, everyone!