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2019 Ford F-150 Raptor Gets Electronically Controlled Fox Shocks, Recaros

Mid-cycle updates to the pickup truck halo are mostly under the skin

FERNDALE, Michigan – Electronically controlled Fox Racing Shox, Trail Control, a Recaro seat package with real carbon-fiber interior trim, and real beadlock 17-inch wheels define the mid-cycle facelift of the 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor. The updates will be available on the ‘19 Raptor when it goes on sale this fall, marking the third model year of the second-generation performance off-road pickup truck, and follows the 2018 model year refresh on quotidian F-150 models.

This freshened Raptor will feature front ride-height sensors that can change the settings of the Fox Racing shock absorbers that reset every 1 millisecond. For example, in “jump mode,” if the sensors detect that the tires are about to, or have, separated from the Earth, the servos in the shocks are reset for a stiffer rebound in order to mitigate bottoming out the truck. The Ford Raptor’s terrain management system allows the driver to select from between normal, sport, Baja, mud/sand and rock-climbing modes, says Chris Paiva, vehicle dynamics engineer for the Raptor.

The new electronic shocks “improve off-road performance, and improve driving refinement” on pavement, says program manager Tony Greco.

Then there’s the new trail control feature, a kind of low-speed cruise control for rock climbing that “removes the throttle and brake inputs from the equation,” Greco says.

Ford showed off the ’19 Raptor at a preview with its newly optional beadlock wheel, 17 inches in diameter with a 35-inch diameter tire, and Ford Performance aftermarket wheel rings.

The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor will also have the option of Recaro front seats with blue Alcantara inserts of a shade inspired by the Lightspeed blue paint of the GT supercar. These will be bundled in an option package with real carbon-fiber trim on the center console, as dashboard trim and as trim around the heating/air conditioning vents. Ford isn’t talking about the price of this option, yet, but it should give a noticeable boost to the already healthy average transaction price of the F-150 line.

Black leather seats will remain standard on the F-150 Raptor, as will its 450-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 and 10-speed automatic transmission. The standard visual change to the ’19 model is a gray-highlighted Ford nameplate across the black trim on the upper part of the tailgate. Other than for that and the optional Lightspeed blue paint and beadlock wheels, Raptor spotters will have to keep a keen eye out to distinguish the ’19 model from the ’17 and ’18 models.

The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor follows a minor refresh for the 2018 Ford F-150 line, all in anticipation of an all-new 2019 Ram 1500 due in showrooms in the next few weeks, and an all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra coming later in the year. A major update of the Ford F-150 is expected for the 2021 model year, when a hybrid version is scheduled to join the lineup.