2003 Marauder New Car Test Drive
Mercury reaches back in its history for the name Marauder for a performance version of the 2003 Grand Marquis. Although sharing body and chassis with the Grand Marquis, the Marauder is cataloged as a separate model.
In 1963-64, the Marauder was a high-performance version of the Mercury Montclair and Monterey. Parnelli Jones drove a specially prepared model to victory at the 1963 Pikes Peak Hill Climb. In 1969-70, the Marauder X-100 was powered by a 429 cubic-inch (7-liter) V8.
The 2003 Mercury Marauder and Grand Marquis and the Ford Crown Victoria are lonely survivors of what was once the archetypical American family sedan, a genre long since supplanted by the minivan and sport-utility. These full-size sedans come with traditional full body-on-frame construction with a front-engine/rear-drive layout, and enough size to shade a lot of blacktop: almost 212 inches stem to stern, and more than 78 inches from one side to the other. Until the gas crises of the 1970s, this was the standard automobile.
The 2003 Marauder supplements the Grand Marquis as something the world hasn't seen since the demise of the 1994-96 Chevy Impala SS, the American full-size performance sedan, emphasis on performance.
Initially available in any color as long as it's black, the 302-horsepower Marauder has the ambiance of 'the X Files' combined with 'the Blues Brothers,' the Secret Service combined with the Wood Brothers (NASCAR). Cop motor, cop shocks. Actually, cops should have it this good.
Only one model of the Marauder is available for 2003, though a convertible is being considered for future introduction. This traditional four-door sedan is priced at $34,495 (MSRP including $705 destination charge).
It comes with an all-aluminum 4.6-liter double overhead cam 32-valve V8 and a slew of other performance items that look like they came out of a Hot Rod Magazine wish list. The only available options are a trunk organizer ($200) and a trunk-mounted six-disc CD-changer ($350).