It is foolish to mess with a proven formula. When Ford bolted on a twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 to the second-generation Raptor, hardcore off-roaders were dismayed.
But when critics found out the motor churns out 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft. of torque, the new Raptor was welcomed with open arms. The new power plant produced 40 more horsepower and more torque than the heavier 6.2-liter V8.
Change is inevitable. In this case, the changes were for the better.
For 2019, Ford is upping the ante once again by giving the 2019 F-150 Raptor an all-new adaptive suspension along with a host of comfort features and clever tech.
Shock & Awe
Further cementing its status as the ultimate high-performance off-road truck, the 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor is equipped with electronically-controlled Fox 3.0 Internal Bypass shocks with LIVE Valve Technology. The 2019 Raptor also comes with a new Trail Control System, which is cruise control designed for low-speed and rugged terrain.
“Raptor’s success is rooted in its incredible suspension, superb vehicle control, and the 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.”
Ford worked closely with Fox to further hone the existing internal bypass shock absorbers. The result is an electronically-controlled Live Valve Technology that continuously adjusts damping in real-time. The system utilizes sensors in the suspension and body to maximize comfort, all-terrain 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,” Salenbauch said.
Have you ever heard of a suspension that automatically adjusts the damper settings when the vehicle is in midair?
“The 2019 Raptor is not just more capable off-road. It’s smarter,” Salenbauch continued. “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.”
This may sound a bit silly, but the current F-150 Raptor is one of the most refined vehicles you can buy today. The upgraded Fox Live Valve suspension enables the Raptor to achieve new heights in all-terrain versatility and performance. When paired with the Raptor’s Terrain Management System, the Live Valve Suspension Technology will confidently traverse even the most unforgiving terrain at high-speed, while still retaining a smooth on-road performance.
Off-Road Cruise Control
The 2019 F-150 Raptor is also equipped with a new Trail Control system. It can automatically adjust and send power and braking force to each individual wheel. The system can be activated at speeds from 1 mph up to 20 mph depending on the driveline position.
Trail Control can feed engine torque to the driving wheels so you can easily climb over steep obstacles. The system can also brake each wheel individually, so the Raptor comes down smoothly on the other side of whatever you are climbing. It is a fool-proof system that allows you to focus on steering over rugged terrain.
Hold Me Tight
Also new for the 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor are Recaro sport seats. The seats are designed to offer aggressive support and substantial bolstering to smoothen those nasty kidney shots over rugged, uneven terrain. Available seat designs include blue Alcantara inserts and accent stitching inspired by the interior of the bonkers Ford GT supercar.
Pricing & Availability
The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor is all yours by late 2018, and comes in three new colors: Ford Performance Blue, Velocity Blue, and Agate Black.
The upgraded 2019 F-150 Raptor will be built at the Dearborn Truck Plant. Ford has not disclosed pricing at this time.
Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.
2019 Ford F-150 Raptor Gallery
Photos & Source: Ford Motor Company.