Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Ram pioneered coil spring rear suspension on full-size pickups. Chevrolet C10 pickups carried the technology in the 1960s.
Ford's brawny F-150 Raptor could be the next full-size pickup whose trusty but yester-tech leaf spring rear suspension system gets replaced with a smoother-riding coil spring setup.
New spy photos show an F-150 Raptor test truck with what appears to be a fully engineered and production-ready coil spring rear suspension.
Ford wouldn't say if the F-150 Raptor is getting coil springs. Spokesman Mike Levine said the company doesn't comment on future products.
Ram introduced coil spring rear suspension on the Ram 1500 pickup a decade ago — the first modern full-sized pickup to do so. Chevrolet offered coil spring rear suspension in its C10 pickups in the 1960s. Ram has won strong reviews for the improved ride.
Leaf springs are renowned for their toughness and durability, especially when hauling heavy loads. But the trade-off is a sometimes bouncy and jittery ride when the truck is unloaded.
Leaf spring suspension, a technology that dates to around the 1750s, began appearing in England on horse-drawn carriages. The technology has evolved, and many vehicles still use versions of leaf springs made with lightweight components that are more flexible than steel.
Ford incorporating technology first used by another manufacturer into the F-150 would be rare.
But the automaker has noticed the sales surge that has catapulted Ram into second place behind the F series and has been targeting Ram in ads.
Toyota, Nissan, Chevrolet and GMC all use leaf springs under the rear of their full-size pickups.