2019 Ford F-150 Raptor now with uprated Fox dampers

The Ford F-150 Raptor pick-up truck has been updated for the 2019 model year, and while its appearance ostensibly remains much the same as before, it now comes with active dampers for improved terrain handling.

Built at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant, the latest iteration of the F-150 Raptor employs electronically controlled Fox internal-bypass dampers with Live Valve technology which enables continuous adjustment of damping, on-the-go. The revised suspension setup is a class-first according to Ford, and employs sensors in both the suspension and in the truck body to improve comfort, handling and resistance to bottoming out.

“Not many trucks need sensors to detect when you are midair. The Raptor sets the dampers to full stiffness to help smooth shock performance as the truck lands,” said global director of Ford Performance vehicle programs Hermann Salenbauch, adding that the Raptor can automatically vary its dampers’ compression rates for the best use of its 13-inch (330 mm) and 13.9-inch (353 mm) suspension travel front and rear.

The Raptor mates the revised suspension with the Terrain Management System for optimal integration of systems, while a new Trail Control system enables improved low-speed control when off-roading. Trail Control works like a kind of low-speed cruise control, which automatically modulates power and braking for each wheel, enabling the driver to focus on steering inputs. This can be activated between 1 mph (1.6 km/h) and 20 mph (32 km/h), depending on driveline position.

No changes of note to the powertrain, which means the retaining of the 3.5 litre turbocharged EcoBoost V6 petrol mill producing 450 hp and 691 Nm of torque, paired to a 10-speed automatic gearbox which sends drive to all four wheels.

Inside, the F-150 Raptor gains new Recaro sport seats for improved support with greater bolstering in the seat back and cushion, and features blue Alcantara inserts and accent stitching; this is inspired by the interior trim of the Ford GT supercar, the company says.

Changes for the F-150 Raptor’s 2019 model year are rounded out with new exterior colours including Ford Performance Blue, Velocity Blue and Agate Black, along with a revised rear appliqué. Beadlock-capable wheels of a new design are also available. According to Ford, the 2019 F-150 Raptor is set to go on sale in late 2018.

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