Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
May 24, 2018
Photos By: Ford Motor Company

The F-150 Raptor is certainly one of the most desired models in the F-series lineup. While many buyers pick the Raptor for its aggressive styling and rarely, if ever, take them off-road, for those looking to truly enjoy being able to pretty much go anywhere and appreciate the capabilities the Raptor offers, the upgraded 2019 F-150 Raptor is everything you want and need in performance off-road capable pickup.

The Raptor’s iconic Fox shocks have been improved again for 2019 and now feature electronically controlled shocks with Live Valve technology. The Live Valve technology constantly adjusts the shocks as you drive. New Trail Control helps off-road prowess by regulating power and braking to each wheel individually up to 20 mpg. Finally, the 2019 Raptor receives some updates to the interior, including all-new Recaro sport seats.

“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.”

The 2019 F-150 Raptor continues its relationship with BFGoodrich and is shod with BFG’s All-Terrain T/A KO2s. Seen here is the new for 2019 optional wheel that is beadlock ready

The Gen2 Raptor’s EcoBoost V-6 puts out plenty of horsepower and torque, making it extremely capable, but horsepower and torque aren’t the only things you need out on the trail (if there’s even a trail to follow!). No, a good suspension is a must and the 2019 Raptor’s suspension is now even more capable than its predecessors. To enhance Raptor’s already proven internal bypass shocks, Ford Performance worked directly with FOX to develop all-new electronically controlled Live Valve technology for the new platform that continuously adjusts damping in real-time. This class-exclusive setup uses sensors in the suspension and body to maximize comfort, handling and bottom-out resistance.

“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 Salenbauch. “The 2019 Raptor is not just more capable off-road. It’s smarter.”

Fox shocks are no doubt a household name thanks to its relationship with Ford and the Raptor. New for 2019 are these Fox-designed Live Valve electronically controlled shocks.

Paired with Raptor’s Terrain Management System, Live Valve suspension technology can increase the truck’s high-speed off-road capability while also enabling smooth on-road driving performance.

“Not many trucks need sensors to detect when you are mid-air,” said Salenbauch. “Raptor sets the dampers to full stiffness to help smooth shock performance as the truck lands.”

Low-speed performance off-road is also vastly improved. New for 2019, Trail Control helps the F-150 Raptor navigate challenging conditions. Ford says it’s like “cruise control” for low-speed, rugged terrain. Trail Control automatically adjusts power and braking to each individual wheel, which in turn allows drivers to focus on steering over rugged terrain. As any experienced off-roader will tell you, throttle and braking control is paramount to making it through the trail or over the rocks and Trail Control can be activated at speeds up to 20 mph depending on driveline position to aid the casual off-roader with that throttle and braking control electronically.

Also new for 2019 are these available Recaro sport seats trimmed in blue Alcantara and charcoal leather with blue accent stitching to keep your backside in place when hitting the trails.

Finally, Raptor drivers can now enjoy enhanced seating thanks to all-new Recaro sport seats. The new Recaro sport seats provide aggressive support with generous bolstering in the seat back and cushion, improving driver confidence at any speed. The Recaro sport seat option will certainly help on the trail or on the highway, as driver’s will now use the steering wheel for its designated purpose (steering input) instead of using it as a grab handle! The Recaro sport seat design features blue Alcantara inserts and accent stitching inspired by the Light Speed-colored interior of the Ford GT supercar.

Oh, and yes, the Raptor’s aggressive exterior will see a few model year updates as well, including new 2019 colors Ford Performance Blue, Velocity Blue, and Agate Black. An enhanced rear appliqué and available newly designed beadlock-capable wheels round out the new look. The upgraded 2019 F-150 Raptor will be built at Dearborn Truck Plant and goes on sale in late 2018.

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