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2003–2004 Mercury Marauder
|Body and chassis|
Mercury Marauder is a nameplate that was used by three separate full-size cars produced by the Mercury division of Ford Motor Company. Initially marketed as the Mercury equivalent of the Ford Galaxie 500XL from 1963 to 1965, the Marauder wore a distinct roofline. After its replacement by the similar Mercury S-55, the Marauder made its return from 1969 to 1970; it was a fastback version of the Mercury Marquis.
For the 2003 model year, the Mercury Marauder was revived, this time as a high-performance variant of the full-size Grand Marquis. After lower than expected sales, the Marauder was discontinued at the end of the 2004 model year. It is also the last rear-wheel drive sedan introduced by Ford in North America.
Origin of name
The Marauder name made its first appearance in 1958 as Ford introduced a new introduced a new family of V8 engines for its Mercury, Edsel, and Lincoln brands. Exclusive to Mercury was a 383 cubic-inch V8. Dubbed Marauder, it produced 330 hp with an optional 4-barrel carburetor. In that tune, the engine was available in the Montclair and Colony Park. Shared with Lincoln, the 430 V8 was an option, though the Super Marauder option package was exclusive to Mercury. Consisting of three two-barrel carburetors, the Super Marauder V8 was notable for being the first engine advertised with a 400hp output.
For both 1959 and 1960, the 383 and 430 were retuned with lower engine outputs, with the 400hp Super Marauder option lasting only for 1958. For 1960, 383 Marauders became optional in all Mercury vehicles, including the Monterey, Park Lane, and Commuter. As Ford reorganized the Mercury line for the 1961 model year, moving the brand away from Edsel-based models and closer to the Ford brand, the MEL engines were phased out in favor of the smaller Ford FE engines in use in the Ford lineup.
First generation (1963–1965)
1964 Mercury Marauder 2-door hardtop
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door hardtop
Mercury Park Lane
|Engine||390 cu in (6.4 L) V8
406 cu in (6.7 L) V8
427 cu in (7.0 L) V8
The Mercury Marauder debuted as a mid-year model, sometimes called "1963½" models. The Marauder featured a sloping notchback roof design, in contrast to the reverse-slated "Breezeway" roofline with a retracting rear window that was also used by the (1958–1960) Lincoln Mark III, IV, and V series. The more "fastback" Marauder was available on the Monterey, Montclair, S-55 (1963 only), and Park Lane models. Additional Marauder features included bucket seats, a central console, and other trim items similar to those in the Ford Galaxie 500/XL. This more aerodynamic roofline was developed for campaigning in the NASCAR circuit, and possibly assisting these models to be more competitive in racing.
In 1964, the Marauder became available in a four-door hardtop sedan, also with a more fastback roofline.
Many components were common to Ford and Mercury models including powertrain choices for the Marauder that were identical to the full-sized Fords. The 390, 406, and 427 cubic-inch Thunderbird V8s, (which Mercury labeled Marauder and Super Marauder V8s) were available, with 3-speed or 4-speed manual, or a 3-speed automatic transmission.
The Marauder was discontinued after the 1965 model year, with the role of the performance-oriented full-size Mercury available in a S-55 model, which was dropped in 1967.
Second generation (1969–1970)
1969 Mercury Marauder X-100
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door hardtop|
|Engine||390 cu in (6.4 L) FE V8
429 cu in (7.0 L) 385 V8
|Transmission||3-speed FMX/SelectShift automatic
3-speed C6/SelectShift automatic
|Wheelbase||121.0 in (3,073 mm)|
|Length||219.1 in (5,565 mm)|
|Width||79.6 in (2,022 mm)|
|Height||53.5 in (1,359 mm)|
|Curb weight||4,328 lb (1,963 kg)|
The Marauder was reintroduced into the Mercury lineup as a two-door hardtop body style for the 1969 model year. It replaced the discontinued S-55. Repositioned from a performance model to a full-size personal luxury car, the Marauder was based on the recently introduced Marquis, sharing its front clip and much of its interior. However, from the windshield rearward, the Marauder differed from the Marquis. The design was similar to the Ford XL and Ford Galaxie 500 SportsRoof, it featured a "fastback" roofline with a tunneled rear window. The Marauder incorporated non-functional louvered side air intakes in the quarter panels.
A performance trim level of the Marauder was marketed as the Marauder X-100. Largely for appearance purposes, the X-100 included a choice of Twin Comfort Lounge seats, Bench Seat or Bucket Seats with a floor console housing a U-shaped automatic transmission shift handle. The X-100 also featured Kelsey-Hayes road wheels along with rear fender skirts.
The market for sporty full-size cars had disappeared, though, and production reached about 15,000 cars for 1969, and barely a third of that for 1970. While the market for personal luxury cars was expanding, the Marauder found itself competing against the Ford Thunderbird and Lincoln Continental Mark III; it was outsold by the Lincoln by nearly four to one.
Standard versions of the Marauder were equipped with the 390 cu in (6.4 L) Ford FE engine and a manual 3 speed transmission. . The Marauder X-100 was only equipped the 360 hp (268 kW; 365 PS) 429 cu in (7.0 L) engine with a 3-speed FMX automatic as an option. The only transmissions available with the 429 was the C6 automatic.
2003–2004 Mercury Marauder
|Assembly||St. Thomas Assembly Plant, St. Thomas, Canada|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Platform||Ford Panther platform|
|Related||Mercury Grand Marquis
Ford Crown Victoria
Lincoln Town Car
|Engine||302 hp 4.6 L Modular DOHC V8|
|Transmission||4-speed 4R70W automatic (2003)
4-speed 4R75W automatic (2004)
|Wheelbase||114.7 in (2,913 mm).|
|Length||212.0 in (5,385 mm).|
|Width||78.2 in (1,986 mm).|
|Height||56.8 in (1,443 mm).|
After a 33-year hiatus, Mercury revived the Marauder name for the 2003 model year. A full-size four-door sedan, the return of the Marauder marked the first time since the discontinuation of the Monterey after 1974 that the division sold two distinct full-size model lines and the first time since 1960 that a Mercury full-size model was sold without a Ford equivalent.
In terms of configuration, the 2003 Marauder was similar to the 1994-1996 Chevrolet Impala SS in being called a full-size "muscle sedan", Although Mercury traditionally was marketed as a competitor to Buick (and the discontinued Oldsmobile division), the Chevrolet Impala SS was based on the 1991-1996 Chevrolet Caprice, the primary competitor of the Ford Crown Victoria. Additionally, both the Marauder and Impala SS derived many of their performance improvements over their base vehicles from police vehicles (the Marauder from the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, and the Impala SS from the Chevrolet Caprice 9C1).
At the 2002 Chicago Auto Show, Ford introduced a concept version of a Mercury Marauder. The vehicle displayed was a two-door convertible (using the platform of a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria LX) that was powered by a 335 hp (250 kW; 340 PS) supercharged 4.6 L V8 and featuring a five-passenger interior similar to the Grand Marquis LSE with a center console mounted shifter for the transmission. The 2002 Marauder concept was the first full-size Ford Motor Company convertible since the 1971 Mercury Marquis and Ford LTD and the first two-door full-size car since 1987.
Ford began production of the Marauder as a sedan for the 2003 model year.
The 2003-04 Marauder utilized the Panther platform. Its brakes and many suspension components were derived from the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. In a modification of the suspension design, the rear shock absorbers were moved outboard of the frame rails (a design later adopted across the Panther platform). As part of the chassis upgrades, the Marauder was fitted with rack-and-pinion steering, over the long-running recirculating ball design used by the Grand Marquis.
Similar to the 1994-1996 Impala SS, the Mercury Marauder featured a more powerful engine than Grand Marquis. While still a 4.6 L Modular V8, the Marauder included the DOHC 4-valve version producing 302 hp (225 kW; 306 PS); the same engine as the 2003–2004 Mustang Mach 1 and the 2003–2005 Lincoln Aviator. The Marauder included the 4R70W 4-speed automatic in 2003 and received the upgraded 4R75W 4-speed automatic for 2004. The limited slip differential with a 3.55 rear axle ratio was standard. The aluminum driveshaft from the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor was also standard equipment.
The 2003 Marauder used parts from both the Grand Marquis and the Crown Victoria. The appearance follows the monochromatic theme of the mid-1990s Chevrolet Impala SS. The only chrome on the vehicle is the window trim, wheels, grille and trunk lid badges.
In the front, the Marauder shares most of its trim with the Grand Marquis; much of the rear and side trim is shared with the Crown Victoria. Both bumpers are unique to the Marauder; the rear features the model name debossed on the bumper and is redesigned to accommodate the larger Megs tailpipe tips. The front bumper was redesigned with a central air intake added to improve engine ventilation along with twin Cibié fog lamps. The headlight and corner light lenses (from the Grand Marquis) had their non-reflective surfaces blacked out and the grille was painted black with a body-color surround. The taillight and reverse light lenses (from the Crown Victoria) were dark-tinted to the minimum of DOT standards. Unique to the Marauder, the center caps of wheels featured a revival of a 1960s Mercury logo (a silhouette of the Roman god Mercury).
The interior of the Marauder resembled the 2002 concept vehicle's approach with a center console transmission shifter, but the simulated wood trim was replaced by simulated satin aluminum trim. The instrument panel featured satin aluminum finished gauges along with a tachometer and a 140 mph speedometer (the latter shared with the Crown Victoria P71); to accommodate the tachometer, the voltmeter and oil-pressure gauges were relocated forward of the transmission shifter.
The 2003–2004 Marauder sales fell short of corporate forecasts. After a production run of 11,052 vehicles, the Marauder was discontinued at the end of 2004. For comparison, a total of 179,723 Grand Marquis models were produced during the same time.
- Odin, L.C. A concise guide to the Ford and Mercury full-size automobile production 1969-1978. Belvedere Publishing, 2016. ASIN: B01HE91Y4K.
- Sessler, Peter C. (2010). Ultimate American V-8 Engine Data Book (Second ed.). Motorbooks. p. 139. ISBN 9780760336816. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
- "Mercury Marauder X-100 (1970) full detailed specifications listing and photo gallery". Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Truett, Richard (5 November 2001). "Mercury follows Impala formula for Marauder". Automotive News. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
- "Mercury Marauder returns to Chicago as a convertible concept" (Press release). Ford Media. February 6, 2002. Archived from the original on October 7, 2012. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Joslin, Tom (September 3, 2011). "Topless Mercury Marauder concept car on Ebay". Jalopnik.com. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
- "Mercury Marauder sales fall short of goals". Automotive News. January 29, 2003. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
- Wilson, Amy (March 22, 2004). "Mercury kills Marauder". Automotive News. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
- Edmunds.com, 2003 Marauder Review
- AutomobileMag.com, 2003–2004 Mercury Marauder, Joe Lorio
- Car and Driver, July 2002, 2003 Mercury Marauder - Reviews / Road Tests, John Phillips
- Car and Driver, 2004 Mercury Marauder, User Road Tests
- Motor Trend, July 2002, Merc Meets Merc, Marauder and S500: Two cool, bad-ass powerbrokers on the run, Todd Lassa
- JD Power Quality Survey, 2003 Mercury Marauder
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mercury Marauder.|
- Mercury Marauder at the Internet Movie Cars Database
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