By on May 24, 2018

Ford’s F-150 Raptor is one of the meanest off-roaders you can purchase from the factory and, for the 2019 model year, the automaker’s doing its part to further improve its trail worthiness. Instead of going for visual upgrades that might tempt impulsive shoppers, Ford is sticking with hardware and technology.

The 2019 Raptor will receive upgraded shocks, Recaro sport seats, and a new Trail Control system that allows the pickup to cruise through seriously rugged terrain at low speeds — allowing the driver to focus on steering, instead of maintaining momentum and traction. According to the manufacturer, the system automatically adjusts power and braking to each individual wheel and is functional up to speeds of 20 mph. It also works for hill ascent and descent, even on craggy landscapes. 

While a lot of the fun of off-roading is controlling the vehicle on dicey terrain, Trail Control sounds like a good helper for those who aren’t interested in doing it all of the time, or perhaps lack the necessary skills. A neat feature, but we’re more excited by the new suspension setup.

Developed with help from Fox, the shocks include updated internal bypass valves that can electronically adjust damping. The system continuously adapts to changing conditions to maximize ride comfort, handling, and resist bottoming out in extreme situations.

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

Ford says the Raptor’s new shocks, paired with the terrain management system, does everything from smoothing out bumps on the highway to helping the truck settle in after a jump. “Not many trucks need sensors to detect when you are midair,” Salenbauch boasted. “Raptor sets the dampers to full stiffness to help smooth shock performance as the truck lands.”

Airtime should be easy enough to come by, too. Even though the pickup won’t see an engine upgrade for the coming model year, the Raptor’s 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 still sends an impressive 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via its 10-speed automatic transmission.

Further improvements to the Raptor include new Recaro sport seats. Prettier than the standard buckets in the current model, Ford says they’re intended as a functional upgrade. They do appear to have a teensy bit more bolstering on the sides and the blue Alcantara inserts will definitely be better at keeping you from sliding around on than smooth leather. Unfortunately, they’re an optional extra.

Despite an adherence to hardware, Ford didn’t abandon the Raptor’s looks entirely. There are a few new colors for 2019, including Performance Blue (dark), Velocity Blue (light) and Agate Black. The automaker also says there are new graphics on the back end, which aren’t immediately obvious. Ford just changed the lettering on the tailgate to a contrasting color. New beadlock-capable wheels are another option for those who like the look or who intend on slamming partially deflated tires into rocks every weekend.

Production of the 2019 F-150 Raptor should commence at the Dearborn Truck Plant later this year.

[Images: Ford Motor Co.]

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12 Comments on “Ford Raptor Upgrades Hardware for 2019 Model Year...”

  • avatar

    No 7.0L V8 yet? Lame.

  • avatar

    So if they’re offering beadlock wheels (to be able to run partially deflated), have they considered offering a central tire inflation system, like the Humvee uses? It sounds like the next logical (thought not inexpensive) step.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    What about claws on the hood?

  • avatar

    I don’t know why Ford sells this vehicle. I can only imagine that it is a test bed to determine what features to include on future generations of Ford trucks. Does it make any money on it ? Seems to me that the money could be better spent in other areas. But hell- I could be wrong, and Ford might be scooping up loads of money with this.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s just a “trim level” on the F-150, but the Raptor has been known to outsell the C6 Corvette.

      • 0 avatar

        Where did you find the sales stats on the Raptor? Outsells for a month or a year?

        • 0 avatar

          The Raptor has sold over 1,000 trucks a month, 13,000+ trucks in a single year. That’s was enough to embarrass a few model’s entire run month by month and for the year. It wasn’t just the Corvette, but the Ridgeline and Titan also, if I recall correct. Maybe others.

          Ford limits Raptor production to 5 an hour, and sells them in 15 “sell days”

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      The Raptors (both) more than just trim levels, they are re-engineered to cope with the rigours of more demanding off road situations.

      Both Raptors have heavily revised suspensions, different engine and transmission tunes. Even the control arms are forged and of different lengths to the cheaper and lighter F-150 control arms.

      Both Raptors also have different widths. The Ranger Raptor is nearly as wide as the F-150 Raptor.

      Due to the lightness of the “normal” F-150 chassis the Raptor must use the heavier chassis as well. The Ranger Raptor was lucky that the “normal” chassis is strong enough.

      As for the trim, both feature high end features you’d expect for such expensive vehicles.

      • 0 avatar

        Nah there’s a bigger physical difference between the base truck and the Lariat FX4, verses the Raptor and the Lariat FX4, the truck its based on.

        The rest is software and tuning. Just simply adding 4X4 to the base truck requires a different chassis. Upgrading the engine? Different Chassis too.

        Building a BOF truck, Raptor, Colorado, anything, isn’t easy, and its not supposed to be.

  • avatar

    Gets a spot I’m my “money-no-object, endless-climate-controlled” garage, fer sure! Dark blue over gray, put it next to the as-new GNX (with the “VADR BUIK” vanity plates)!

    Same garage with the latest Bullit Mustang, with a triple-black Charger with Demon motor as a pursuit vehicle! With an AWD drivetrain massaged to handle the power, and yet some sort of line-lock functionality to burn a set of rears to the wheels if desired! (I love the smell of burning rubber in the morning!) Hell, make it the most sumptuous 300 available, same style! With a periscope! Call it an Imperial Starship Cruiser! With suicide doors!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    To be clear, this Trail Control system will also be featured on the (non-SVT) Ranger, so it makes sense for the flagship Raptor to get it.

  • avatar

    The new beadlock wheel design looks much better the previous wheel. I just hope that they offer a V8 again, it’s what keeps me from upgrading from my ’12.

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