Ford would continue to build competition for their own Mustang models. The Ford Thunderbird S/C was another version of a pony car. The supercharged V6 engine provided modest power for the price. But the styling of the car was something that most consumers couldn’t get over (via Hagerty).
The build quality of this generation of the Thunderbird was also questionable at best. Reliability was something you hoped for, to say the least. The interior was cheap, and many parts were shared with other Ford models.
Kia is not shy when it comes to testing the waters with a new model. The company launched the Borego SUV in the middle of a recession. The Kia Forte Koup was the same concept, releasing a sports car when no one wants them. The naming of the car was bad enough, but the reliability of the car was even worse (via Cheers and Gears).
There were numerous transmission failures that affected this car when it was brand new. The warranty Kia offers was a big help, but not enough. Buyers were not convinced to get the Forte Koup and Kia quietly discontinued the model. Kia still sells a two-door model, but it isn’t called the Koup anymore.
The final Mercury two-door was a failed endeavor for the brand. With the Ford executives seeking to appeal to female buyers, the Mercury Cougar was radically different. The car had all the lines you’d expect a Cougar to have. But there was no longer a V8 engine choice, and the car was no longer a luxury coupe (via ARFC).
Instead, Ford had hoped the redesigned Cougar would entice young professional women to go with the Mercury brand. Needless to say, the Cougar didn’t sell well. The final years for the car had some of the lowest production numbers to date. The Mercury brand was ultimately phased out a decade after this car was released.