While Ford might be transitioning away from cars, its performance division is not about to rest on the laurels of a sales juggernaut — the F-150 Raptor. The 2019 version of the alpha truck picks up more performance courtesy of FOX 3.0 Internal Bypass shocks and a new Trail Control system.
The 2019 Raptor is not just more capable off-road. It’s smarter. — Hermann Salenbauch, Ford Performance
“Raptor’s success is rooted in its incredible suspension, superb vehicle control and the confidence the truck instills in its owners,” Hermann Salenbauch, global director, Ford Performance vehicle programs, said. “Upgrades to the 2019 F-150 Raptor have improved all three to new levels that the competition will have to benchmark – again.”
Not only does the 2019 F-150 Raptor gain improved suspension and more trail tech, it is available in new colors, including Ford Performance Blue, Velocity Blue, and Agate Black.
To deliver that increased performance, FOX developed all-new dampers, which utilize Live Valve tech to adjust the damping in real time. That is similar to the way the Mustang’s magnetic suspension operates, and the result is the suspension adapts to the terrain to improve handling, soften the ride, or even resist bottoming out.
Inside the new Raptor Recaros seats with Alcantara inserts and Ford GT-inspired Light Speed stitching will hold the driver and passenger in place while traversing rough terrain. Meanwhile, the new Trail Control system will help drivers easily conquer the rough stuff by automatically controlling the power and braking delivered to each wheel at speeds below 20 MPH.
“By automatically varying compression rates, Raptor can now make the most of its suspension travel of 13 inches at the front and 13.9 inches at the rear. The 2019 Raptor is not just more capable off-road. It’s smarter,” Hermann explained. “Not many trucks need sensors to detect when you are midair. Raptor sets the dampers to full stiffness to help smooth shock performance as the truck lands.”
Along with the new dampers, the 2019 Raptor hauls in more technology in the form of Trail Control, which Ford Performance describes as “cruise control for low-speed, rugged terrain.” This system tweaks the power and braking delivered to each wheel to help the truck traverse the rough stuff at speeds of 20 MPH and lower, whether you need more torque or more braking. Having done it the old-fashioned way with a foot brake during the Raptor Assault program, we can say this system definitely sounds like it will make the truck even more capable.
The latest Raptor deploys FOX’s new 3.0 Internal Bypass shocks that Live Valve technology to adjust damping on the fly to improve performance or comfort depending on the terrain. The new truck will also wear fresh beadlock-ready wheels.
If you are excited hit the trails in one and test that capability, these trucks should jump off of dealer lots near the end of the year.
You’ll be able to spot 2019 Raptors from behind because they wear a new rear appliqué on the tailgate.