We didn't find the F-150 Raptor lacking during our desert drive in Ford's incredible off-roader, but that didn't mean Ford couldn't find room for improvement. So it turns out that the 2019 Raptor will enjoy even better shock absorbers for controlling suspension movement while hammering over dunes at ludicrous speed.
The rival Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 features sophisticated Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve technology shocks from Multimatic (the company that builds the mighty GT supercar for Ford), like the ones used by Formula 1 teams, so Ford has upgraded its Fox Shox. Fox is considered the industry standard in off-road racing, but its passive dampers are improved in the 2019 Raptor by adding active control that responds to the actual terrain.
Modern vehicles like the F-150 are already equipped with a slew of electronic sensors that monitor everything about its status. Ford, and shock supplier Fox, are now tapping that data stream to control the dampers more accurately.
“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 of Ford Performance vehicle programs. “The 2019 Raptor is not just more capable off-road. It’s smarter.”
The smart shocks work in conjunction with the Raptor’s Terrain Management System to adapt to any situation, on-road or off. “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.”
The occupants' movements will also be better controlled in the 2019 Raptor thanks to the installation of more supportive Recaro sport seats that feature abundant bolsters for keeping people in place when the going gets tough.
The 2019 Raptor also wears restyled beadlock-capable wheels. Look for the even more beastly to arrive in dealers later this year.