Ford has said it will release a plug-in module later this year for Ford and Lincoln cars made between 2010 - 2016 without a modem, that will add smart functions such as remote start, security alerts and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The SmartLink module plugs into the car's OBD II port, which is normally used for onboard diagnostics, and can be found below the steering wheel. Ford says it will be available from dealers later this year, although it's likely to be available in just the US for now.

The module will make it possible to remote start, lock and unlock the car from a smartphone, provide a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices, monitor vehicle health and security alerts and provide vehicle location assistance. Ford offers similar functions on the new Mustang.

Stephen Odell, executive vice president, global marketing, sales and and service said: "Ford SmartLink will surprise and delight owners of recent model-year vehicles by adding some of today's popular connectivity features",

"Offering it through our dealerships is another way to keep us connected with our customers and earn their loyalty".

"We are thrilled to offer this level of convenience and connectivity to our existing customers, extending the value their vehicles and giving them just one more reason to love their Ford or Lincoln vehicles".