Wheels and deals

Costa Levante News - - MOTOR -

tric or hy­brid model. The new flag­ship model will then fol­low be­fore 2024.

Ini­tially, the car is likely to be pro­duced as a hand-built twodoor coupe, fit­ted with a six-cylin­der en­gine pro­duc­ing around 350bhp. Per­for­mance will likely be close to the brand's late flag­ship the Plus 8, mean­ing a 060mph time of around 4.5 sec­onds and a top speed of more than 150mph. It's likely to be priced around the same level as the As­ton Martin V8 Van­tage, ap­prox­i­mately €134,600.

The new chas­sis is sim­i­lar in weight and di­men­sions to the cur­rent one but twice as rigid, aid­ing han­dling and com­fort. Mor­gan says it's also suit­able for a wider va­ri­ety in driver size - a boon for any par­tic­u­larly tall, short or wide en­thu­si­asts.

Cru­cially, the plat­form can also han­dle forth­com­ing elec- tri­fi­ca­tion de­mands, pro­vid­ing space for bat­ter­ies and elec­tric mo­tors if nec­es­sary. The 109year-old brand re­cently cel­e­brated its best-per­form­ing year in his­tory, with spe­cial an­niver­sary mod­els of its Aero GT and V8 sell­ing out. The Malvern­based com­pany now em­ploys 30 peo­ple in-house to de­sign and en­gi­neer its mod­els. Lux­ury car-maker Bent­ley has launched what it claims is the first su­per­fast "re­li­able and se­cure" in-car Wi-Fi sys­tem. The Bri­tish com­pany has cre­ated a be­spoke router built into the boot of its cars and says it plans to in­tro­duce it to all of its mod­els in 2019.

Called Ad­vanced Con­nec­tiv­ity, the net­work will use three SIM cards in­side the router, which will link to a fixed broad­band hub to pro­vide con­nec­tiv­ity while on the move.

Bent­ley con­nected car prod­uct man­ager, Hamid Qureshi, said the sys­tem per­formed well in test­ing and the firm is now keen to see it used by cus­tomers.

"We're re­ally ex­cited in terms of the uses cases - this idea that when you're in the back of a Bent­ley car you can ac­tu­ally use this ad­vanced con­nec­tiv­ity to si­mul­ta­ne­ously view mul­ti­ple types of heavy con­tent," said Qureshi. "So you could be sit­ting in the back of the car and a fel­low pas­sen­ger could be stream­ing Net­flix on their iPad, and an­other pas­sen­ger could be do­ing a live Skype call, an­other could be re­ceiv­ing a heavy data file from the of­fice and edit­ing that file and send­ing it back - and it's all hap­pen­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ously be­cause of this ad­vanced router con­nec­tiv­ity."

He added se­cu­rity was a cru­cial part of the net­work's de­sign, with much scru­tiny over the safety of con­nected cars in the wake of sev­eral high-pro­file hack­ing demon­stra­tions in re­cent years.

"Se­cu­rity is a non-ne­go­tiable topic," Qureshi said. "Our am­bi­tion is to al­ways en­sure, through rig­or­ous qual­ity and test­ing, that prod­ucts are se­cure and that goes not just for phys­i­cal prod­ucts such as pro­duc­ing a car but also dig­i­tal ser­vices. Safety is a non-ne­go­tiable paramount."

Bent­ley's sys­tem has been built in col­lab­o­ra­tion with tele­coms firm Vi­asat, which has man­aged 14 mil­lion Wi-Fi hotspots and brought satel­lite-en­abled Wi-Fi to com­mer­cial and gov­ern­ment air­craft.

By PA Mo­tor­ing Team

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