Muscle car fans know that real performance cars often have their own cues that establish their levels of insane performance. These include massive hood intakes, spoilers, racing stripes, and aggressive stances. The rumble of the exhaust might just be the biggest indicator of true speed. However, some unique cars were both fast and desirable. These luxury coupes delivered a huge level of performance luxuriously.
These rides weren’t necessarily flamboyant or loud. They were models that appealed to customers who wanted luxury but craved performance. The best of luxury coupes were notorious for their ability to cocoon the driver in luxury but provide it with enough firepower to beat Mustangs at the stoplight. Find out which luxury coupes featured massive performance right here.
Mercury Marauder X100
Today, the Mercury brand is defunct. But back in the ’60s, it was a well-respected luxury division above the working-class Ford and just below Lincoln. Mercury did well in the muscle car segment with the Cougars and Cyclone. Luxury performance models were scarce until 1969 when a new generation of the Marauder left the factory. Imagined as a luxury coupe, the Marauder had a fresh design with new features like concealed headlights, a massive front end, and a sloping rear end with concave glass (via Hemmings).
It was a big, heavy car intended for cruising rather than racing. However, Mercury needed something to fight the Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Riviera GS. They needed to upgrade the Marauder to higher spec if they wanted a piece of the action. So the Marauder X100 was made. Behind the strange name was a regular 1969 Marauder but with a 429 V8 engine with 360 hp, bucket seats, heavy-duty suspension blackout rear trim, and fender skirts.