You may think that we at Roadshow spend all our time driving efficiency automobiles at full throttle. That could not be farther from the reality, particularly in winter, when our Midwest contingent as an alternative spends its time dodging potholes, avoiding snowdrifts and looking forward to black ice. But there’s, it seems, one efficiency car that is simply as a lot enjoyable throughout the onset of the Polar Vortex as another time: the Ford F-150 Raptor. The go-anywhere and get-there-fast pickup truck enters the 2019 mannequin 12 months with a handful of adjustments that make it, virtually unbelievably, much more succesful.

21st century suspension

The largest change since our final in-depth evaluation of a Ford F-150 Raptor is the addition of intelligent electronically managed shock absorbers. The Fox Racing Reside Valve shocks’ damping curves could be adjusted in actual time by the Raptor’s onboard computer systems. As Roadshow Govt Editor Chris Paukert found final fall, that makes the truck even higher capable of bounce and certain round off-road — particularly on condition that new Soar Mode management logic tweaks the shocks to raised deal with departures and arrivals from terra firma.

Even the hardiest Raptor driver, nevertheless, should spend a while on asphalt, and it is there that the Fox suspension appears to have had the best impact. The place the final Raptor I drove listed like a sailboat round bends, the 2019 mannequin reveals remarkably strong physique management that gives an entire lot extra confidence on the highway. The adaptive shock absorbers primarily keep away from that conventional compromise of off-road vehicles, which is that the mushy suspension settings you must deal with rocks and bumps end in a imprecise and wallowing ride-and-handling combine.

Nonetheless, I had hoped the shock absorbers’ adjustability might need tamed the truck’s journey. The massive F-150 nonetheless hops and skips over highway imperfections; loading up the mattress to benefit from all 1,200 kilos of my tester’s payload means would, as in any pickup, clean out the journey considerably. No less than with large BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A Ok02 tires, in dimension 315/70 R17, there’s by no means any fear you will burst a tire on Metro Detroit’s annual midwinter potholes.

These shock absorbers are key to how the Raptor performs each on pavement and out in the course of nowhere.

Jake Holmes/Roadshow

Easy efficiency

There are not any tweaks beneath the hood this 12 months, and that is simply wonderful. The F-150 Raptor’s distinctive tune of Ford’s acquainted three.5-liter twin-turbo V6 is burly and highly effective, with 450 horsepower and an enormous 510 pound-feet of torque, the latter obtainable from simply three,500 rpm. Couple that with the well-behaved and quick-shifting 10-speed computerized transmission and the Raptor accelerates with a ferocity that belies its 5,697-pound curb weight.

The Raptor actually hauls, with massive velocity and an incredible, bassy bellow from its exhausts. Certain, the exhaust word is just not as thrilling to take heed to as the primary Raptor’s 6.2-liter V8, but it surely’s nonetheless bought all of the noise and aggression you could possibly need from a tricky truck. Large steel paddle shifters really feel nice and elicit prompt gearchanges, however frankly the 10-speed computerized is responsive sufficient I not often used them.

Driving modes, selectable from steering-wheel buttons, make additional adjustments to the throttle and transmission mapping, in addition to adjusting the four-wheel-drive system and the suspension. Regular and Sport are, in fact, those most acceptable for road use, but it surely’s awfully tempting to pick out Baja and cost throughout the closest snow-covered subject.

It is arduous to fault the omnipresent torque supply of the twin-turbo engine.

Jake Holmes/Roadshow

Sure, it is nonetheless a truck

Talking of which, the 2019 F-150 Raptor nonetheless does the entire truck stuff you count on of a car with a pickup mattress. My tester, a SuperCrew mannequin, is rated to tow Eight,000 kilos (the SuperCab can tow 6,000 kilos and has a 1,000-lb. payload ranking). It comes commonplace with four-wheel drive with a low vary, and you’ll even order it with beadlock wheels for critical, low-pressure off-road use. Different essential numbers embrace 11.5 inches of floor clearance, a wholesome 30.2-degree method angle, a 23-degree departure angle and 21.Eight inches of breakover.

One other addition for the 2019 mannequin 12 months is Path Management, which is actually cruise management for off-road use. It is an evolution of hill-descent management that enables drivers to set a velocity after which deal with steering; Path Management handles acceleration and braking to maintain you on the chosen velocity. It will work in any driving mode at speeds between 1 and 20 miles per hour.

To maintain tabs in your off-roading adventures, a web page within the digital journey pc can present particulars on the modes of the truck’s shock absorbers and steering, whereas one other shows pertinent inclination angle particulars. An non-compulsory forward-facing digicam, with its personal washer nozzle to maintain it clear on the path, is as helpful for tight parking tons as it’s for inspecting obstacles forward of the Raptor’s huge hood.

In-car tech consists of blind-spot monitoring, a 360-degree digicam, touchscreen infotainment and 4G LTE Wi-Fi.

Jake Holmes/Roadshow

It seems to be the half

That giant hood is a part of what provides the Ford Raptor such a commanding presence on the highway. The massive wheels, raised stance, practical skid plates and massive fender flares make this far more durable than your chrome-trimmed F-150 Lariat; a singular entrance bumper not solely permits a look on the suspension elements and orange Fox shock absorbers but additionally supplies extra clearance off-road. Together with different particulars, like varied vents, Raptor badges and the massive exhausts and it is no shock that in my testing a stranger at a gasoline station, unsolicited, stopped to say, “That factor seems to be like a beast!”

Ford’s designers likewise do a pleasant job of upfitting the F-150’s cabin for Raptor obligation, with properly bolstered seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel that sports activities a racy purple middle stripe. Recaro seats with blue accents are newly obtainable for 2019 however weren’t fitted to my tester; they’d possible be essential improve when you’re frequently doing the form of off-pavement adventures that’ll jostle you round in the usual seats.

Different options embrace an Eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system working Ford’s wonderful Sync three software program, with help for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A built-in 4G LTE modem can present a Wi-Fi hotspot for as much as 10 units. The infotainment system responds to inputs promptly and its menu construction is easy to understand. Extra data is obtainable within the digital journey pc: stuff so simple as tire pressures and journey data, or as detailed as engine enhance and oil temperatures or the aforementioned off-roading gauges. Nonetheless, my Raptor check truck was not overloaded with fashionable devices: It nonetheless has a conventional key, quite than push-button begin, and lacks any lively security expertise apart from blind-spot monitoring.

This Raptor-specific entrance bumper supplies extra clearance and permits for a greater view of the tire and suspension.

Jake Holmes/Roadshow

A beast in each sense of the phrase

At instances it feels extreme to make use of the massive Ford truck in locations that aren’t, say, wide-open deserts. At 86.three inches broad, the Raptor barely suits between the traces in most parking areas, and at 19 ft, four inches lengthy, my SuperCrew tester at all times caught out past the sting of them. It is thirsty, too, with the EPA ranking the truck for simply 15 miles per gallon metropolis and 18 mpg freeway on premium gasoline. When you’re not planning on escaping the suburbs and utilizing it to its full potential, nicely, the Raptor might be overkill. Then once more, is not that additionally true of the carbon-fiber, 200-mile-per-hour supercars we reward for his or her observe prowess?

In contrast to the remainder of the 2019 Ford F-150 lineup, which has myriad mattress and cab choices, the Raptor could be very easy to configure. All fashions include four-wheel drive and a brief (5.5-foot) mattress, with consumers ready to decide on solely between SuperCab (2+2 doorways) and SuperCrew (4 full-size doorways). Pricing for the previous begins at $54,450 with vacation spot. My tester rings in at $62,915 after a handful of choices, together with LED puddle lights, a spray-in bedliner, a tailgate step (important, give how excessive off the bottom the Raptor rides) and heated, powered leather-based seats. Yep, that is costly, however keep in mind once more that the Raptor can carry out on paved roads, on the paths and for conventional towing and hauling truck duties. You get a variety of utility for the cash.

The 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor makes an enormous impression not solely as a result of it might probably accomplish that a lot, but additionally as a result of there’s nothing else fairly prefer it. Scroll right down to the “Comparable Picks” field, for example, and you will see that no different pickup truck fairly blends this velocity, off-road efficiency and total functionality. That specialness alone is an enormous a part of what makes Ford’s beefy truck so alluring to lovers.

So, possibly you need the Raptor as a result of it seems to be and sounds cool. Perhaps you need it as a no-questions-asked on-road performer. Perhaps you are going to take it blasting by way of the desert or charging over muddy trails. Regardless of your demand, the Raptor can deal with it.

Jake’s Comparable Picks

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