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 is a 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 Studios, the Cougar was cut from the game in favor of other vehicle ideas. The design may have inspired the concept of the SP42 Cobra, because it was originally an anti-vehicle unit in Halo Wars. The Cougar bears a striking resemblance to the World War II armored car, the M-8 Greyhound.
While developing the Halo games, Bungie, 343 Industries and Ensemble Studios have had to cut some content, such as vehicles, gameplay, and story elements, from the final products. Much of this content has been confirmed by videos and commentary in special edition DVDs, interviews with developers, and released concept art.