MERCURY TO BRING BACK MARAUDER AS A 2003 MODEL
CHICAGO, Feb. 8, 2001 -- Mercury confirms today at the Chicago Auto Show that it will bring back the Marauder, an iconic vehicle from the brand's past, in the form of a four-door, five-passenger performance sedan powered by a V-8 engine expected to produce more than 300 horsepower. The Marauder is expected to reach Lincoln Mercury showrooms in the early summer of 2002 as a 2003 model.
"Mercury Marauder doesn't take a lot of explaining. It's fast, it's black and it looks cool," says Ben Gibert, director of Mercury vehicles.
Based on a concept vehicle at the 1998 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show, the production Mercury Marauder will have impressive performance credentials:
• 4.6-liter dual overhead cam V-8 engine producing more than 300 horsepower and 300 foot-pounds of torque; true dual exhaust
• Four-speed automatic transmission with a high stall speed torque converter and 3.55 rear axle with limited-slip differential
• Performance suspension; 18-inch forged aluminum alloy wheels shod with high performance all-season tires (P235/50ZR18 front and P245/55ZR18 rear); winged Mercury god's head logo embossed in the wheel center caps
• A 140-mph speedometer, 7,000-rpm tachometer, temperature and oil pressure gauges and voltmeter
• Leather-trimmed cabin; five-passenger seating with winged Mercury god's head embossed in the seat backs and "Marauder" embroidered in the floor mats; center console with floor-mounted shifter
• Monochromatic exterior design with body surfaces finished in gloss black paint; dark-tinted headlamp and tail lamp bezels; "Marauder" embossed in the rear fascia and fog lamps integrated into the front fascia
Full technical specifications, pricing, ordering information and an on-sale date will be released closer to production.
"The Mercury Marauder will be part of the household fleet, so power is not the customer's only concern. It must have functionality to accommodate everyday needs," Marauder Brand Manager Tony Picarello said. "Marauder is a rebel with a cause. It is power and substance."
"The new Marauder will make Mercury a stronger brand, but its impact will go beyond the buzz or a single sale," says Jennifer Moneagle, Mercury group brand manager. "Mercury customers by definition are individuals who do not follow the crowd, and the Marauder's performance and bold styling will really let it stand apart from everyday vehicles.
"Most Marauder customers will be well-educated and relatively affluent. Many will be married with children at home, and most will probably own two or more vehicles," she adds.
The first Mercury Marauder was introduced at the dawn of the muscle car era as a 1963 ½ model, and was designed to capitalize on the success of the Bill Stroppe-prepared Mercurys on stock car tracks around the country. The "slantback" two-door hardtop was built on a 120-inch wheelbase and measured almost 18-feet in length.
Mercurys in Marauder trim were offered with engines ranging from a comparatively mild 390-cubic inch OHV V-8 with two-barrel carburetor to a considerably more robust 406-cubic inch V-8 that produced 405 horsepower (gross). The now legendary Parnelli Jones piloted a 406-powered Marauder to victory at the Pike's Peak Hill Climb on July 4, 1963 and set a new stock car record in the process.
One of the most desirable of the early Mercury Marauders was the 1964 model equipped with the 427-cubic inch "Super Marauder" V-8. This engine, which pumped out a whopping 425-horsepower (gross), boasted all of the requisite 1960s-era technology for performance engines, including twin four-barrel carburetors, high-compression 11.5:1 pistons and cross-bolted main bearing caps.
After 1965, the Marauder name was not used again, until Mercury introduced a new full-size platform in 1969. The Mercury Marauder introduced that year was described by a Mercury executive as "the car for individuals who want strong road performance with the full measure of luxury that comes with full-size automobiles."
Full-size was an apt description of the 1969 Mercury Marauder and top-of-the-line Marauder X-100, which rode on 121-inch wheelbases and measured slightly more than 219 inches in length (about four inches longer than the 1964 models). Both models featured a tunnel-back design with the trailing edges of the rear roof pillars flowing down and extending to the rear. A special two-tone paint option featured the entire tunnel-back area of the car with a matte finish in a color to compliment the main body color.
The heart of the X-100, the higher performance and more-ornately trimmed version, was an all-new 429 cubic-inch V-8 engine rated at 360 horsepower (gross). Road testers clocked the X-100 at 0-to-60 mph in eight seconds and reported a top speed of 125 mph. The five-passenger Marauder featured a 390 cubic-inch V-8 engine and a fresh new design. With these two models, Marauder became an official Mercury nameplate.
Mercury, based in Irvine, Calif., markets the full line of Mercury vehicles, including Cougar, Sable, Grand Marquis, Mountaineer and Villager.