With its 3.5-liter twin turbo V6, the 450-horsepower F-150 Raptor packs plenty of punch, but the way Ford sees it there's more to off-road muscle than sheer engine power. The company has just detailed a few upgrades for the forthcoming 2019 edition, including electronically adaptive suspension that promises smoother rides over rough terrain.
Ford teamed up with performance racing outfit Fox to give the Raptor's suspension an electronic makeover. This meant building on its existing internal bypass shocks by integrating sensors into both the car body and the suspension itself, enabling it to continuously adjust damping on the fly.
"By automatically varying compression rates, Raptor can now make the most of its suspension travel of 13 inches at the front and 13.9 inches at the rear," said Hermann Salenbauch, global director, Ford Performance. "The 2019 Raptor is not just more capable off-road. It's smarter. Not many trucks need sensors to detect when you are midair. Raptor sets the dampers to full stiffness to help smooth shock performance as the truck lands."
The 2019 F-150 Raptor will also include a new feature called Trail Control, which works just like cruise control, but for low-speed, off-road maneuvering. It enables drivers to select a speed between 1 and 20 mph (1 - 32 km/h) and have the Raptor automatically adjust the power and braking to each wheel individually, while they simply worry about steering over the rough terrain.
Inside are new Recaro sports seats with blue Alcantara insert and accents that are claimed to bring extra support in the seat back and cushioning. The exterior has also undergone a few minor tweaks with a reimagined rear appliqué, new beadlock-capable wheels and new color options that include Blue, Velocity Blue and Agate Black.
There's no word yet on the pricing, but the 2019 F-150 Raptor will go on sale in late 2018.
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