Does all this new technology in off-roaders make it all a bit too easy? The new 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor, for example, is soon coming with off-road cruise control that can even get you unstuck in deep sand
When we tested the new JL generation Jeep Wrangler (video here, article here) the vehicle impressed with its off-road prowess to the point we basically forgot what we were doing out there on the trail – the Wrangler turns off-roading into a spectator sport, even when you’re behind the wheel front and centre simply because it’s packed with so much capability that you’re almost merely along for the ride.
Well, perhaps sensing danger in the form of the new beefed-up Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison, Ford has updated the Raptor for the 2019 model year (here’s our review of the 2018 version) with a new gizmo that makes off-roading even easier than it was.
First it was automatic transmissions and push-button low-range and traction control and hill-descent control and adjustable ride height and what not, and now off-roading is ever so slightly further diluted with yet more technology that makes it a walk in the park.
Ford calls this new feature Trail Control, and in basic terms it’s off-road cruise control, which manages throttle and braking inputs so your feet can stay rested on the side mirrors. The gizmo can be activated from almost a standstill and it keeps working up to about 30km/h. Meanwhile, all you have to do is steer.
You can use Trail Control in all of the 2019 Ford Raptor’s 4×4 driving modes as it automatically directs torque to each wheel for optimum rock-crawling capability – it also helps when you get stuck in sand since the computers can feather the throttle with much finer inputs than a human foot.
The updated 2019 Ford Raptor will go on sale in just a couple of months in its domestic US market, but according to our Ford Middle East source we’ll have to wait until March or April next year for the truck to start arriving in the UAE.