2019 Ford F-150 Raptor First Drive: Sharper Claws; Bigger Teeth
Ford honed the F-150 Raptor, making a great truck even better.
For the 2019 model year, the Ford Raptor is freshened up.
Let’s get this out of the way first — Ford didn’t stab a V8 into the Raptor, but we still think that could be coming. Instead of ripping out the potent twin-turbocharged V6 and putting in a worked-over Mustang mill, the folks at Ford Performance refined the Raptor’s sharp edge with a whetstone. That means most of Ford’s efforts went towards the Raptor’s already-stout suspension.
The Raptor has a new set of hi-tech adaptive dampers from Fox Racing. Sure, this sounds a little like a broken record — adaptive dampers are almost an expectation on modern sports and adventure cars. But, unlike most adaptive dampers — even the magnetorheological wizardry in the Mustang's MagneRide system — Ford focused on adding extra resistance to the compression side of the damper. On the shock, there’s a solenoid that increases the compression resistance of the shock, which prevents bottoming out when say, jumping (not advised). The shocks know when to stiffen up thanks to a suspension height sensor on the front of the truck. Basically, it can tell when the Raptor’s suspension is at full travel — like it would be in the air — and firms up the shocks expecting your return to Earth.