There’s no doubt about it, the Ford F-150 Raptor is the ultimate high-performance off-road pickup, and there’s absolutely nothing else like it on the road today. Truth be told, Ford could leave well enough alone and sell every one of these bad boys, but that’s not how they roll.
For 2019, Ford rolled out a trip of new features that makes the F-150 Raptor an even tougher, smarter, more capable trail runner, with upgraded tech including electronically controlled FOX Racing Shox, a new Trail Control system, and all-new Recaro sport seats.
“Raptor’s success is rooted in its incredible suspension, superb vehicle control and confidence the truck instills in its owners,” said Hermann Salenbauch, global director, Ford Performance vehicle programs. “Upgrades to the 2019 F-150 Raptor have improved all three to new levels that the competition will have to benchmark – again.”
The Raptor’s suspension upgrades make it even more capable of clawing away at the terrain. To enhance Raptor’s already proven internal bypass shocks, Ford Performance worked directly with FOX to develop all-new electronically controlled Live Valve technology for the Raptor that continuously adjusts damping in real-time. This setup uses sensors in the suspension and body to maximize comfort, handling and bottom-out resistance.
“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,” said Salenbauch. “The 2019 Raptor is not just more capable off-road. It’s smarter.”
Paired with Raptor’s Terrain Management System, FOX’s Live Valve suspension technology can increase the truck’s high-speed off-road capability while also enabling smooth on-road driving performance. “Not many trucks need sensors to detect when you are midair,” said Salenbauch. “Raptor sets the dampers to full stiffness to help smooth shock performance as the truck lands.”
Low-speed performance off-road is also improved. The new Trail Control helps Raptor drivers navigate challenging conditions. Think of it like cruise control for low-speed, rugged terrain, automatically adjusting power and braking to each individual wheel to allow drivers to focus on steering over rugged terrain. Trail Control can be activated at speeds from 1 mph up to 20 mph depending on driveline position.
The system makes everything easier – from driving on a simple two-track trail to traversing a rocky hill climb. Not only can Trail Control automatically draw significant engine torque to overcome steep obstacles, it can individually brake the wheels so the truck comes down smoothly on the other side.
Lastly, Raptor drivers now have enhanced seats to help keep them firmly in place for improved confidence at low and high speeds. All-new Recaro sport seats provide aggressive support with generous bolstering in the seat back and cushion. This available seat features blue Alcantara inserts and accent stitching inspired by the Light Speed interior of the Ford GT supercar.
And of course, the Raptor comes chock full of safety features, including backup sensors, since you really can’t see everything behind you in a truck of this size. Never used one before? Try using a backup sensor and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one.
Raptor’s aggressive exterior gets even more intense for 2019 with eye-catching new colors including Ford Performance Blue, Velocity Blue and Agate Black. An enhanced rear appliqué and available newly designed beadlock-capable wheels round out the new look.
Of course, if that $50K+ price tag is too rich for your blood, you can always purchase a less expensive F-150 and search for car parts wholesale to give your truck that off-roading look without breaking the bank.
The upgraded 2019 F-150 Raptor goes on sale in late 2018.