It is a work of genius.
Ford builds some of the best pickup trucks around, and the Ford F-150 Raptor is seen by many as its crowning achievement. This high-performance pickup takes the already capable F-150 and turns things up to eleven by adding more power, meaner looks, and a highly capable chassis. Ford recently revealed the production start date for the 2021 model, and we also caught wind of the 2021 model's pricing, but it just revealed some real juicy info that's infinitely more interesting than how much the thing is actually going to cost. In a video released by the company, we get an inside look at how the Raptor's high-tech shocks work, and it's really cool.
The F-150 Raptor makes use of Fox Live Valve shocks, which offers the driver a wide range of damping levels for any surface, and according to Ford, the 2021 Raptor's shocks increased in diameter to 3.1 inches, which result in twice the damping force of the 2020 vehicle. These new shocks, specially developed through Fox Shocks maintain damping force by bypassing oil in the cylinder. In the 'Ride Zone" low resistance is met with smooth shock travel. Shimmed bypass ports circulate oil back behind the piston to reduce resistance and increase response. As more oil enters the back of the shock, resistance increases until it reaches the bottom-out zone, where oil is forced to flow through the main piston assembly, offering the firmest feedback.
This is all cool stuff, but Ford has another trick up its sleeve, and it's called Live Valve. This suspension tech allows the F-150 Raptor to offer much finer damping levels by using sensors to gather real-time data up to 500 times per second. The Raptor then uses clever algorithms to create a predictive model based on your current driving style and terrain trajectory. The Free Valve attachment on the main shock will decrease preload on the internal needle, opening the valve which in turn will offer faster movement and more comfort. If it determines that a shock should move slower, the system will simply increase preload. For extra rough terrain, the Free Valve Tech works with a boost valve that uses hydraulic pressure to keep the car from bottoming out. It's this kind of tech that separates the men from the boys.