Terrific news for avid off-road enthusiasts: Just two years after the second-generation model made its debut, the leaner and meaner Ford F-150 Raptor is getting some important upgrades to push the limits of all-terrain performance even further.
First, the Ford Performance team has developed new electronically controlled FOX Racing Shox internal bypass shocks. They’re said to be exclusive in the segment thanks to innovative Live Valve technology that can adapt to terrain in real-time to actively maximize handling and comfort while minimizing the likelihood that the suspension will bottom out.
By automatically varying compression rates, the Raptor can now make the most of its incredible suspension travel of 13 inches at the front and 13.9 inches at the rear.
“Not many trucks need sensors to detect when you are midair,” says Hermann Salenbauch, global director, Ford Performance vehicle programs. “Raptor sets the dampers to full stiffness to help smooth shock performance as the truck lands.”
In addition, engineers have added a new Trail Control system that operates a bit like cruise control for low-speed, rugged terrain, such as rocky grades. It will automatically adjust to modulate power and braking to each individual wheel, allowing you to focus on steering. Trail Control can be activated at speeds from 2-32 km/h depending on driveline position.
The third key upgrade that should get you excited are the all-new Recaro sport seats (optional) that help maintain the body in check during more extreme off-road maneuvers. And they’re quite stylish, too, with blue Alcantara inserts and accent stitching inspired by the Light Speed-coloured interior of the Ford GT supercar.
On the other hand, while some new eye-catching paint options are available, like Ford Performance Blue, nothing changes under the hood. The 3.5-litre high-output EcoBoost V6 still produces 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque through a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Look for the 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor to hit the market in late 2018. Want to get a taste of its potential? Check this out: