Updated Suspension Bits for Ford’s High-Performance Off-Roader
The ’19 Ford F-150 Raptor is getting a few new toys to play with, including one it’s borrowing from its little brother, the ’19 Ranger. For the first time ever, the Raptor will be equipped with Trail Control, the off-road speed control that will make its first appearance on the Ranger FX4. Trail Control, which operates between 1 and 20 mph, adjusts power and braking for each individual wheel to help the truck climb over rocky or rough terrain. This allows the driver to concentrate on choosing the right line on the trail, reducing stress and fatigue.
More significant, though, are the ’19 Raptor’s new Fox Racing Shox electronically adjustable dampers. Using Fox’s Live Valve technology, the shocks continuously adjust damping in real time, using sensors in the suspension and body to improve handling, reduce bottoming out, and provide a more comfortable ride. The system even works in the most extreme conditions the Raptor is likely to see.
“Not many trucks need sensors to detect when you are midair,” says Hermann Salenbauch, global director, Ford Performance vehicle programs. “The Raptor sets the dampers to full stiffness to help smooth shock performance as the truck lands.”
The ’19 Raptor will also be available with meaty new Recaro sport seats for the front passengers. These optional buckets should provide improved lateral support and comfort for both bumpy, low-speed, off-road driving and Baja-style rapid transit alike. Blue Alcantara inserts add a measure of sophistication to the seating, joined by three new exterior colors: Velocity Blue, Ford Performance Blue, and Agate Black. New tailgate trim and a new beadlock-capable wheel design round out the changes.
Pricing has yet to be revealed, but expect the ’19 Raptor to start at around $51,000—just a hair more than the ’18 Raptor’s starting price. The Recaro seats should add $1,500 or so.