Jeff Ford
January 1, 2004

Even with the hefty price we can still say the big Mercury makes a super cruiser (and not just for the cops). It likes the open road and, with the addition of a supercharger, would be a great boulevard bruiser.

The Goods
Engine typeMach 1 V-8, iron block, aluminum heads
Bore/Stroke 3.55 x 3.54
Displacement 281 ci/4606 cc
Compression ratio 10.1:1
Fuel injection Sequential multiport electronic
Valvetrain DOHC, four valves per cylinder
Power 302 hp @ 5,750 rpm
Torque318 lb-ft @ 4,300 rpm
Transmission four-speed automatic
Final drive ratio 3.55:1
Gear ratios I 2.82:1, II 1.50:1, III 1.00:1, IV 0.70:1
FrontSLA independent, coil spring, monotube shock, stabilizer bar
Rearfour-bar link live axle, Watt’s linkage, coil and air spring,
 monotube shock, stabilizer bar
Steering typepower rack-and-pinion
Turning circle curb-to-curb41.5 ft
Front12.0-in vented disc
Rear 11.5-in vented disc
Assist typeVacuum, ABS
Wheels And Tires
Base wheel18-in aluminum
Largest tire availableP245/55WR18
Weight (pounds) Base curb weight 4,195
Maximum trailer weightproperly equipped 2,000

New For 2004? Whasupwitthat?
Gone. It has been bandied about in the motor press that the Marauder was done after what was reported to be a "bad sales year" for the Mercury fullsize mauler. It seemed the Marauder was to join the Blackwood as another Mercury idea that was less than stable sales-wise in application. Most felt that Mercury was going to pitch out the baby with the bath water.

Well, rumor and a press kit on the Web from Mercury has it that there are some inside Ford who don't want to see the big bad sedan go away. So it gets new life for '04. This is the kind of info that makes us happy around here.

What's New?
What Ford says: The '04 Marauder gets a new 4R75W heavy-duty, four-speed automatic transmission for greater efficiency and low-end torque. Other refinements include the addition of needle bearings and Teflon seals to a new 11.25-inch high-stall-speed torque converter with a one-inch, one-way clutch. The new transmission provides quicker upshifts and downshifts, and lets the driver "kick down" into First gear at a higher speed.

What we say: Is that annoying "dip" in rpm gone now? Our biggest complaint with both the Marauder and Mach 1 automatics was a puzzling dip at around 2,800 rpm. Not life-threatening, but noticeable.

Major Equipment And Options
Standard features include: Cibie fog lamps; tinted glass; 18-inch, forged-aluminum, five-spoke aluminum wheels; center and overhead consoles; illuminated visor mirrors; dual-heated foldaway mirrors; leather-wrapped console shifter; leather-wrapped steering wheel with climate and audio controls; floor mats; power steering/brakes/windows/ locks; adjustable pedals; rear reading lamps; map/courtesy/glovebox/trunk lights; electronic clock; automatic climate control; Audiophile AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo with equalizer and subwoofer; speed control; traction control; tilt steering column; remote keyless entry; and rear load-leveling performance, air springs. and suspension.

Options include a six-disc, trunk-mounted CD changer, heated seats, engine-block heater, and trunk organizer.

'04 Quick Check

  • Heavy-duty 4R75W transmission with improved shift response
  • New exterior colors: Dark Toreador Red and Silver Birch
  • New interior color: Light Flint/Dark Charcoal two-tone
  • Needle bearings and Teflon seals on torque converter
  • Dual knock sensors for improved response at low engine speeds
  • Standard traction control
  • Standard Audiophile entertainment system