Fac­tory Fresh

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.

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