IRVINE, Calif., July 1, 2002 – The all-new 2003 Mercury Marauder is off to a high-speed start, as more than 5,200 vehicles were pre-sold to customers prior to the first vehicle being delivered to dealers' showrooms. Today marked the official first day of sales for the car, but the excitement started with the unveiling of the Marauder concept car in 1998 and grew from there.
"We knew the Marauder was something special, but even we were surprised by the reception it's received from customers," said Philip Smoker, Marauder brand manager for Mercury. "The new Marauder is a true four-door muscle car – a black shark in a pool of minnows. It is, in every way, a worthy successor to the legendary Marauders of the 1960s."
The 2003 Mercury Marauder is available at Mercury dealers nationwide at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $34,495. The only options available on Marauder are a trunk-mounted six-disc CD changer ($350) and a trunk organizer ($200). A series of 30-minute special programs on the Speed Channel introduced consumers to Marauder, prompting over 85,000 visits to www.mercuryvehicles.com
for more information.
Polished 18x8-inch wheels with BFGoodrich performance tires claw for traction when the driver unleashes the 302-horsepower, 318 lb./ft. of torque, 4.6-liter V8 engine, turning each stop light into a personal drag strip. Polished stainless-steel exhaust tips are the speakers for an aggressive exhaust tone, letting the unmistakable sound of a large American V8 engine rumble out. Unlike the original Marauders, though, this one returns 17 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway and comes with a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.
When the lights turn red, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS bring Marauder to a stop in a hurry. And, unlike many of Marauder's fore-bearers, when the road turns at the end of the straight, coil-over springs and Tokico monotube shocks make sure there's no drama.
But Marauder has a soft side, too, as Nudo leather covers the seating surfaces and Mercury "god's head" logos are embossed in the seat backs. A leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel are required for a car of this type, and the 140-watt Alpine sound system ensures that many miles of highway travel are comfortable. Of course, air conditioning and power windows, mirrors and door locks are standard equipment, too.
All Marauders are painted black – adding to the sinister look – with blacked-out trim around the headlights, bumpers, windows and taillights, and an all-black interior. Additional exterior colors will be available in the near future.
Occupant safety was key to Marauder's development, as well, including side-impact airbags and the Personal Safety System. The Personal Safety System incorporates dual-stage front airbags that vary deployment speed based on the severity of an impact, sensors to determine if front-seat passengers are wearing seat-belts, a driver's-seat position sensor and seat-belt pretensioners with load-limiting retractors. Also, Marauder is designed to make it easy, quick and safe to install a child safety-seat in the rear seats with the standard equipment LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system. And, to keep your Marauder yours, Securilocktm prevents the vehicle from being started unless a key containing a uniquely encoded computer chip is inserted into the ignition.