Let’s be honest – the Ford F-150 Raptor is truly unrivaled as the most off-road-capable performance truck in the world. Yes, there are other options for Ram, GM and Toyota fans who want to play off-road in a stock truck, but when you look at the total package – the Raptor is the king of the factory-built off-road pickups. This is one of the reasons why the 450-horsepower half-ton has sold so well and in all reality, Ford doesn’t really need to change anything to keep the Raptor at the head of the class.
However, the Motor Company appears to be looking to widen its lead over the competitors by improving the Raptor for the 2019 model year, introducing a trio of new features that make it an even greater performance machine.
“Raptor’s success is rooted in its incredible suspension, superb vehicle control and the confidence the truck instills in its owners,” said Hermann Salenbauch, global director, Ford Performance vehicle programs. “Upgrades to the 2019 F-150 Raptor have improved all three to new levels that the competition will have to benchmark – again.”
First up, the 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor gets new FOX 3.0 internal bypass shocks with Live Valve technology. Working with the Raptor’s Drive Mode system, these new dampers adapt and adjust based on the terrain and the mode chosen to maximize ride quality or performance.
These could make the 2019 Raptor slightly more capable, but they will almost certainly make the high performance F-150 more comfortable in every driving situation while also making the truck more controllable on rough surfaces. These new dampers also know when the truck is in the air, quickly adjusting to maximum stiffness to prevent the shocks or the truck from bottoming out.
“Not many trucks need sensors to detect when you are midair,” said Salenbauch. “Raptor sets the dampers to full stiffness to help smooth shock performance as the truck lands.”
Next, the Raptor is now offered with an available Recaro front bucket seat option. These seats have deep base and back bolsters to keep the driver and front passenger firmly in place as the truck rocks back and forth while off-roading. At the same time, in true Recaro fashion, they should provide a comfortable ride for the daily drive.
Finally, the 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor features Trail Control – which is basically cruise control for off-road settings. This system will set the speed anywhere up to 20 miles per hour and the truck will handle the throttle and braking, leaving only the steering up to the driver.
This feature makes tricky off-road situations far more manageable for novice drivers, so it should allow 2019 Raptor owners to get even more out of their high performance pickups when they hit the trails.
Check out the video below for a quick look at each of the new features of the 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor.