Ford Motor Co. said it will employ new technology to improve the off-road performance of its 2019 F-150 Raptor pickup truck.
The powertrain will be a carryover, but Ford will equip the new Raptor with electronically controlled shock absorbers and a system that will act like cruise control for rugged terrain.
Developed jointly by Ford Performance and Scotts Valley, Calif.,-based Fox, the electronically controlled live valve shock absorbers continuously adjust damping. The system uses suspension and body sensors to inform the control unit that signals the adjustments. The system is designed to maximize comfort and handling while resisting bottoming out.
“By automatically varying compression rates, Raptor can now make the most of its suspension travel,” said Hermann Salenbauch, global director of Ford Performance vehicle programs. The Raptor offers 13 inches of front suspension travel and 13.9 inches at the rear, he said.
2019 Ford Raptor. (Photo: Ford)
The new suspension technology is paired with Raptor’s existing Terrain Management System. In addition to enhancing off-road performance, the combination also aids on-road comfort and handling, Salenbauch said.
The new Trail Control system is intended to help Raptor drivers navigate challenging conditions. Designed for low-speed, rugged terrain, the system automatically adjusts power and braking to each individual wheel.
The system can automatically apply engine torque to rock-climb. It can also brake individual wheels to ease descent. The driver can activate it at speeds from 1 mph up to 20 mph, depending on driveline position.
“The 2019 Raptor is not just more capable off-road. It’s smarter,” Salenbauch said.
Beyond the new high-tech systems, the 2019 F-150 Raptor will also get new seats. The Recaro sport seats are heavily bolstered in cushion and seat back so they provide enhanced support to driver and passenger. Said to be inspired by the interior of the Ford GT, the seat design features blue Alcantara suede-like inserts and accent stitching.
The 2019 F-150 Raptor will be available in three new exterior colors: Ford performance blue, velocity blue and agate black.
The upgraded 2019 F-150 Raptor will be built at the Dearborn, Mich., truck plant. It goes on sale late this year.