- The Washington Times - Friday, December 27, 2002

The intent of the 2003 Marauder from Mercury is to provide a 1960s American muscle-car experience, but with improved driving dynamics, safety and lower emissions.
The Marauder name was first applied to the Mercury marque as a 1963 performance package. The Marauder name reappeared in 1969, but this time as its own nameplate with two models the Marauder and Marauder X-100, powered by a 429-cubic-inch V-8 engine.
The 2003 version Marauder gets its power from an all-aluminum 4.6 liter V-8 mill that generates 302 horses and 318 pounds-feet of torque. Chassis enhancements include: rack-and-pinion steering, hydroformed front frame rails, monotube dampers (shocks), and 18-inch, five-spoke forged aluminum wheels shod with performance rubber.
One might do well to think of the Marauder as a "Grander" Marquis with an attitude. The monotone black clear-coat paint theme, which includes the grille (except for the bright centered Mercury logo), door handles, mirrors, fore and aft fascias is interrupted only by the polished wheels, dual-exhaust tips and chrome surround that encircles the side glass from "A" to "C" pillar. The blacked-out "B" pillar gives the five-passenger sedan a coupelike presence. Were it not for the oversized polished wheels, the Marauder would pass easily for an unmarked law-enforcement vehicle. In terms of overall design, the Marauder shares its basic style with the Grand Marquis and Ford's Crown Victoria.
The floor shifter is console-mounted with black-on-white, silver-trimmed Auto Meter gauges that provide oil pressure and voltage levels.
Front bucket seats offer additional support (perhaps a little too much in the lumbar area) through strategically placed extra padding.
The added agility, improved handling attributes, modest boost in horses and other visual details don't come cheaply. My Marauder tester sported a base window sticker of $33,790 with a final price tag of $35,045. Power adjustable pedals (throttle and brake) and dual exhaust are included as part of the standard fare.

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