Or a cop. Or a gangbanger. Take your pick.
Less than 12,000 examples were built, and this unofficial send-off to the Panther-bodied Ford sedan that lasted for so many years is arguably the best one to own. With its naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V8 with a claimed (and totally underrated) 302 hp, the Marauder, in many ways, was the closest thing to a cop car you could buy back in 2003 and 2004. Black was without a doubt the best color to get, for obvious reasons. Now, what was the Panther platform?
It was an architecture that dated back to the late 1970s, and it underpinned plenty of cop cars as well as the civilian Ford Crown Victoria, Lincoln Town Car, Lincoln Continental, Mercury Grand Marquis and, of course, the Marauder, the high-performance version of the latter.
Mercury originally figured there’d be higher demand for the car, particularly among younger buyers. That didn’t happen. Why? Likely because the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis was too closely associated with being an old man’s car. Or a cop car. Take your pick. The perception wasn’t good. But those who knew, knew, and they benefitted from that V8, rear-wheel-drive and totally revised front and rear suspension with monotube shock absorbers. Regular Car Reviews caught up with one Marauder owner, who bought it new 15 years ago. It’s still his daily driver. Good for him.