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.”
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.
“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.
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.