Adaptive shocks and a trail-ready cruise control!

First hitting the scene in 2009, the Ford F-150 Raptor is essentially a big, bad, burly variant of the ever-popular F-150 pickup truck, offering off-road enthusiasts all the trimmings for tackling Mother Nature’s trickiest terrain. Upgrades include a more aggressive exterior, a taller ride height, and a monster motor under the hood, and now, Ford is improving the package even further with fresh high-tech suspension bits.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

Ford F-150 Raptor Goes High Tech For Enhanced Off-Road Worthiness Exterior
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“Not many trucks need sensors to detect when you are midair,” said Hermann Salenbauch. “Raptor sets the dampers to full stiffness to help smooth shock performance as the truck lands.”

Ask anyone who’s ever done a bit of rock crawling, and they’ll tell you - an off-roader’s suspension setup is key to its success in the rough stuff. Such is the case for the 2019 model year F-150 Raptor, and now, the popular pickup is getting some added high-tech reinforcements.

Kicking it off is a new electronically controlled suspension setup featuring fresh Fox 3.0 Internal Bypass shocks. Ford Performance worked directly with Fox to develop these new units, and they feature continually adjustable damping to make the most of the truck’s stout underpinnings. Paired with the Raptor’s all-new electronically controlled Live Valve technology and real-time terrain adaptation, the Raptor is able to “maximize handling, comfort, 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 Hermann Salenbauch, global director at Ford Performance vehicle programs. “The 2019 Raptor is not just more capable off-road. It’s smarter.”

The new suspension also comes with the Raptor’s Terrain Management System, which was designed to help it be both a high-speed off-roader and offer a somewhat comfortable on-road demeanor. What’s more, there’s a raft of onboard sensors to make it all work properly.

“Not many trucks need sensors to detect when you are mid-air,” Salenbauch said. “Raptor sets the dampers to full stiffness to help smooth shock performance as the truck lands.”

Ford F-150 Raptor Goes High Tech For Enhanced Off-Road Worthiness Exterior
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Further upgrades include a new Trail Control system, which acts like cruise control for the trail.

Further upgrades include a new Trail Control system, which acts like cruise control when traveling between 1 and 20 mph over rugged terrain by controlling the throttle and brakes at each individual wheel, allowing the driver to focus entirely on steering duties.

“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,” Ford explains.

Rounding it out is a set of new Recaro seats in the cabin. Offering a highly bolstered and supportive design, the seats also get blue Alcantara inserts and accent stitching, a color scheme inspired by the Light Speed-spec Ford GT’s interior.

Sales commence later this year.

References

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor.

2018 Ford F-150 High Resolution Exterior
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Ford F-150

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.

2019 Ford Ranger Raptor Exterior
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2019 Ford Ranger Raptor

Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor.

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Press release

Ford is making its iconic F-150 Raptor – the ultimate high-performance off-road pickup – even better with upgraded technology including class-exclusive, electronically controlled FOX™ shocks, new Trail Control™ and all-new Recaro sport seats.

The upgrades are focused on key components that have made F-150 Raptor the benchmark in off-road trucks for an even tougher, smarter, more capable trail runner.

“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.”

While Raptor has plenty of torque and horsepower, building a high-performance off-road truck isn’t just about engine power – it’s also about the suspension. 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 new platform that continuously adjusts damping in real-time. This class-exclusive 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™, 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. New Trail Control helps F-150 Raptor drivers navigate challenging conditions. It’s 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.

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 design features blue Alcantara inserts and accent stitching inspired by the Light Speed-colored interior of the Ford GT supercar.

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.

The upgraded 2019 F-150 Raptor will be built at Dearborn Truck Plant. It goes on sale in late 2018

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