News of February 13, 2002
Mercury Marauder Returns To Chicago As A Convertible Concept
CHICAGO - A new convertible concept debuting at this year's Chicago Auto Show points to future possibilities for Mercury and for the all-new 2003 Mercury Marauder four-door performance sedan that goes on sale this summer.
The Marauder Convertible builds on the popularity of the sedan, which is designed to deliver a 1960s muscle car experience with contemporary driving dynamics, comfort and safety. It is designed to be like no other vehicle:
Its supercharged 335-horsepower V-8 delivers more horsepower than any other full size convertible priced less than $85,000. It is a five-passenger convertible. All other convertibles on the market today only seat two or four passengers. Rear seat room is generous. At approximately 38 inches, the convertible's rear seat legroom is the same as Marauder sedan's. While true to its American muscle car heritage, it is thoroughly modern - with low emissions, cutting-edge safety and driving dynamics that balance comfort with control.
"The Marauder and the Marauder Convertible concept say a lot about the next generation of Mercury vehicles, which we're defining now," says Brian Kelley, president of Lincoln Mercury. "Both Marauders have heritage, performance and charisma. You'll see these same qualities in future Mercurys."
Over the next five years, eight new Mercury products are planned, including two all-new sedans, a new multi-purpose vehicle and specialty image-building niche products.
The 2003 Mercury Marauder sedan goes on sale this summer. Pricing will be announced closer to launch. At this time, the convertible is purely a concept, but public reaction will be closely monitored to gauge whether sufficient demand exists to justify a full development program.
The Marauder Convertible brings together types of vehicles that have become Mercury signatures: premium cars with outstanding performance and comfort, and stylish convertibles.
The Marauder Convertible concept's lineage includes these notable vehicles:
1939 Series 99A Convertible: Ford Motor Company created the Mercury brand to offer premium products between the Ford and Lincoln brands, and a convertible was offered in 1939, the first model year.
1949 Mercury Series 9CM: James Dean drove a de-chromed Mercury six-passenger coupe in the movie "Rebel Without a Cause." Mercury coupes went on to become the car of choice for performance tuners and hot-rodders.
1950 Mercury Series OMC Convertible: Mercury's first Indianapolis 500 pace car was driven by Benson Ford, Henry Ford's grandson.
1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser Convertible: Mercury's second Indianapolis 500 pace car
1963 ½-1964 Mercury Marauder: The first Mercury Marauders were performance versions of Mercury's mainstream sedans, the Montclair and Monterey. They made their debut at the dawn of the muscle car era and were designed to capitalize on the success of the Bill Stroppe prepared Marauder stock cars, including the one that Parnelli Jones drove to victory in the 1963 Pikes Peak Hill Climb.
1966 Mercury Cyclone GT Convertible: Once again, Benson Ford drove a Mercury pace car at the Indianapolis 500. His Cyclone GT convertible was super-tuned to achieve 0-60 mph in 7 seconds.
1967 Mercury Cougar: The first Cougar - Mercury's luxurious pony car - was named Motor Trend magazine's "Car of the Year."
1968 Mercury Parklane Brougham 4-door: Actor Jack Lord drove a triple black Mercury on the hit television series "Hawaii Five-O."
1969 and 1970 Mercury Marauder X-100: 1969 marked the return of the Marauder, which included the feature-packed top-of-the line Marauder X-100, which was powered by a 429 cubic-inch V-8 engine.
The Marauder Convertible concept's monochromatic body is finished in black gloss paint. Dark-tinted headlamps and taillamp bezels flow from the black exterior to continue the serious, but understated appearance. Unmistakable but subtle performance cues include the high intensity Cibié fog lamps integrated into the fascia, the three-inch chrome exhaust tips and the "Marauder" name embossed on the rear bumper.
The Mercury Marauder sent the message that the V-8 rear-drive muscle car is back. The convertible concept shows customers the possibilities for fun Marauder can create with its top down," said Steve Park, Marauder chief designer.
(Feb. 6, 2002)