About 2 years ago an all-new Raptor was born, feeding on rock and mud like never before. We tested it in wide array of conditions and from tarmac to trail the Raptor never disappointed. But Ford thinks they can make things even better so for 2019 the Raptor receives a trio of upgrades.
The last time I was in a Raptor it was warm, muggy and a bit wet. It was then that I realized how awesome this next generation off-road truck had become. So now for some contrast, we find ourselves in the snow and cold of winter with the updated bird of prey. This time it’s a big SuperCrew model loaded to the gills with all of the good stuff for an as-tested price of $72,000. It’s the F-150 you want if you prefer your seat time out here instead of on the pavement. Fast, ferocious and a ton of fun to drive, the Raptor is tricked out with FOX shocks, high performance springs, K02 tires, skid plates, beefed up differentials and a Trail Control system that adapts the truck to whatever terrain you’d like, including a Sport mode that put’s this twin-turbo V6 front and center. It’s the epitome of imposing wherever it’s seen – so wide and unique in its style, the Raptor name has big time cache. I didn’t sense the need for any major changes but Ford came up with at least one paired with a couple of more nominal updates.
The last thing I figured the Raptor needed was a suspension upgrade but that’s indeed what Ford did with these electronically controlled shocks now with continuous damping technology which is supposed to improve both on and off road but it doesn’t. The Raptor as a daily driver has definitely taken a hit.
This has been a surprise to me but you feel a lot more of the paved road in this Raptor than with the previous shocks. Co-developed with Ford, FOX’s Live Valve Technology constantly reads a variety of vehicle sensors and then adjusts the compression of the shocks in real time with the goal of maximizing handling, comfort and bottom out resistance. You can literally feel them at work doing something as simple as backing out of your driveway. And when you’re getting after it off-road the Raptor continues to amaze with its magic carpet like ride. It’s so smooth when the going gets rough. But based upon my memories and notes from my previous test-drive, this one doesn’t skew as favorably to on-road work where the Raptor now feels decidedly truckier.