In July this year, the 2019 Ford F-150 got a new range-topping 3.5-liter V6 engine with 450 horsepower (335 kilowatts) and 510 pound-feet (692 Newton-meters) of peak torque. It’s basically the motor that powers the hardcore F-150 Raptor put into a more civilized version of the pickup. To return the favor of giving its engine, the Blue Oval is now upgrading the Raptor with a new cool feature called Trail Control.
Think of it as a cruise control system for an off-road use. It controls braking and throttle, allowing drivers to focus entirely on steering. According to the automaker, the system makes “taking Raptor through the rough stuff more fun than ever.”
Available in all 4x4 modes, the Trail Control can operate with speeds of between 1 miles per hour up to 20 mph. It’s an intelligent system that directs torque to the wheel with highest traction and braes when necessary to smoothly bring the truck down on the other side. Also, it can help you take the F-150 Raptor out if it happens to get stuck in extreme sand.
Arriving at dealers in late 2018, the upgraded 2019 F-150 Raptor also comes with adaptive dampers that use sensors on the suspension monitoring what's happening with the truck and tweaking the dampers accordingly. Impressively, the system even knows if the truck is in the air during a jump and can stiffen the dampers to smooth out the landing.
Power for the pickup comes from the aforementioned 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost with 450 hp (335 kW). It is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission with a high-low transfer case and four-wheel drive. The truck now also has new power adjustable, heated, and cooled seats, as well as larger diameter Fox shocks.
Ford promises the new Trail Control system will also be available for the 2019 Ford Ranger, set to arrive at dealerships early next year.