The Cougar is a lightweight, fast and highly versatile AFV constructed by the UNSC. It was designed for, but ultimately cut from Halo Wars. Although heavy anti-armor fire would blow the Cougar away quite easily, this vehicle was highly effective in holding off enemy armored vehicles until slower armored units could arrive at the battlefield. The Cougar had gained infamy in several urban tactical situations prior to the deployments in the war against the Covenant.
It appeared as a somewhat standard armored fighting vehicle with two wheels up front and two pairs in the rear. It bore a small mounted turret armed with two auto-cannons, as well as a machine gun or grenade launcher on other concept art. There was a windscreen on its forward body, with two side windows to provide a fairly high amount of visibility for the driver, which would have proved useful.
According to Ensemble, the Cougar was cut from the game in favor of other vehicle ideas. Its shape may have proved the inspiration of the SP42 Cobra, as its role in Halo Wars was originally an anti-vehicle unit. The Cougar bears a striking resemblance to the World War II armored car, the M-8 Greyhound.
When developing the Halo games, Bungie, 343 Industries and Ensemble Studios have had to cut some content from the final games. As such, many aspects of the games, such as vehicles, gameplay, design, and story elements, were not included in the final versions. Many of these elements have been confirmed by such material as videos and commentary on the Halo 2 and Halo 3 Limited Edition DVDs, interviews with developers, and released concept art.