F-150 Raptor Updates Include ‘Smarter’ Shocks, New Trail Control

The Ford F-150 Raptor has undergone upgrades for the 2019 model year. Chief among the upgrades is the electronically controlled FOX shocks, new Trail Control and Recaro sport seats, according to the company.

To enhance Raptor’s 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 setup uses sensors in the suspension and body to maximize comfort, handling and bottom-out resistance, according to Ford.

“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 of Ford Performance vehicle programs. “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,” Salenbauch said. “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, according to Ford. Trail Control can be activated at speeds from 1 mph up to 20 mph depending on driveline position.

The system was created to make operating the vehicle easier, from driving on a simple two-track trail to traversing a rocky hill climb, according to Ford. 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.

The updated truck also features enhanced seats. All-new Recaro sport seats provide support with generous bolstering in the seat back and cushion, according to Ford. This available seat design features blue Alcantara inserts and accent stitching inspired by the Light Speed-colored interior of the Ford GT supercar.

Ford will offer the 2019 in new colors, including Ford Performance Blue, Velocity Blue and Agate Black. An enhanced rear appliqué and available beadlock-capable wheels round out the new look.

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

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