How the 'Slippery' Setting On This Massive SUV Made a Snowstorm More Bearable

Room for seven people? Check. A sun-roof that’s big enough to impress even a few young adults? Perfect. A setting called “slippery” that causes the vehicle to hug the road when the snow starts to fly? Nice.

I tested out the 2018 Lincoln Navigator recently, driving one to the airport in Minneapolis during a heavy snowstorm, a little worried about how such a large SUV would behave on snowy roads. It took me a few seconds to notice that there’s a specific setting–you use a dial that’s located between the seats–for slippery roads.

I can tell you what it does from experience.

As I drove, the vehicle obviously adjusted the power of the tires to make sure the vehicle never went askew. I’m no daredevil, but it was interesting to press the gas a little and have the vehicle make micro-adjustments you can actually sense as you drive.

This is not the case in the vehicles I actually own, which do not have a setting for traction control. They have acceptable traction, being a bit older with normal tires, but nothing like this test car. In one case, another vehicle swerved in front of me and I decided to change lanes quickly, but never felt like I was going to lose control or swerve.

I experimented with a few other settings for traction control as well. One was called Deep Conditions, which is meant for deeper snow. The vehicle didn’t lurch forward as quickly, presumably preventing tire slip. There are also settings for muddy conditions and a normal setting for dry roads. I’ve never seen such specific options for traction, and I was impressed with how they felt like they made a difference as I drove the vehicle.

The Navigator has plenty of other interesting features, although I was surprised the SUV didn’t have rear-entertainment screens (at least in the one I borrowed). On that long winter trek, it would have been handy to play a DVD for the passengers in the back. It’s possible that fewer and fewer cars will offer these screens since people can use their own phones and tablets.

One feature that did impress me (but you can only test if you own the car): You can request service using Lincoln Pickup & Delivery, which means someone drives to you, lets you borrow a second car, then returns the Navigator after any maintenance or fixes.

I found the seat massage button by accident once. Both seats in the front let you control how the massage works–e.g., the level of massage and where it occurs in the seat. In general, the seats in the Navigator are a big selling point because you can adjust them in so many ways. (You might even say you can adjust them a bit too much, if you find it takes a while to find the exact setting that works for your body type and comfort level.)

Even on the wintry day driving to the airport with seven people, everyone was comfortable. I had no trouble hearing my wife in the second row as we drove, although the passengers in the far back had to speak a little louder than normal.

The base price on the Lincoln Navigator is $72,055–not as high as expected, considering the massive size and all of the tech features and traction control. It’s a little cheaper than the similar Cadillac Escalade, at a $74,695 base price. I’ve never driven an Escalade in a snowstorm, but I can vouch for the Navigator. It was a smooth ride.

Bitcoin, rival cryptocurrencies plunge on crackdown fears

LONDON (Reuters) – Bitcoin slid as much as 18 percent on Tuesday to a four-week low, as fears of a regulatory crackdown on the market spread after reports suggested it was still possible that South Korea could ban trading in cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin’s slide triggered a selloff across the broader cryptocurrency market, with biggest rival Ethereum down 23 percent on the day at one point, according to trade website Coinmarketcap, and the next-biggest, Ripple, plunging by as much as a third.

Bitcoin traded as low as $11,191.59 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange. By 1400 GMT it has edged up to $11,650, but that was still down more than 14 percent, leaving it on track for its biggest one-day fall since September.

Jamie Burke, chief executive of Outlier Ventures, a venture capital firm that is one of the biggest holders of top-10 cryptocurrency IOTA, said the belief the market was overdue a correction was making traders jittery and that was exacerbating the scale of the moves.

“Anybody that understands the technology knows there’s going to be a correction – it’s going to be a big correction and it’s going to be indiscriminate, because there are no established fundamentals for anybody to distinguish between where there is and isn’t value,” Burke said.

“There’s no way you can rationalize that there’s any value in the market at the moment; everything is significantly overpriced,” he added. Burke holds a number of top-20 cryptocurrencies in a personal capacity.

South Korean news website Yonhap reported that Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon had told a local radio station that the government would be coming up with a set of measures to clamp down on the “irrational” cryptocurrency investment craze.

South Korea said on Monday that its plans to ban virtual coin exchanges had not yet been finalised, as government agencies were still in talks to decide how to regulate the market.

FURTHER CHINA CRACKDOWN

That came amid news that a senior Chinese central banker had said authorities should ban centralized trading of virtual currencies and prohibit individuals and businesses from providing related services.

China shut down exchanges operating on the mainland last year – a move that also sparked a selloff, though the market later recovered.

“It’s mainly been regulatory issues which are haunting (bitcoin), with news around South Korea’s further crackdown on trading the driver today,” said Think Markets chief strategist Naeem Aslam, who holds what he described as “substantial” amounts of bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple.

“But we maintain our stance. We do not think that the complete banning of cryptocurrencies is possible,” he said.

Cryptocurrencies enjoyed a bumper year in 2017 as mainstream investors entered the market and as an explosion in so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs) – digital token-based fundraising rounds – drove demand for bitcoin and Ethereum.

The latest tumble leaves bitcoin down around 40 percent from a record high near $20,000 hit in mid-December, wiping about $130 billion off its total market value – the unit price multiplied by the number of bitcoins that have been released into the market.

A director at Germany’s central bank said on Monday that any attempt to regulate cryptocurrencies must be on a global scale as national or regional rules would be hard to enforce on a virtual, borderless community.

The latest plunge in the market came as wealth management firm deVere Group, which has $12 billion under advisement, said it was launching a cryptocurrency app that would allow users to store, transfer and exchange five of the biggest digital coins, citing “soaring global demand”.

Reporting by Jemima Kelly; Editing by Robin Pomeroy