New Chinese SUV “the most connected car to date”
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The Lynk & Co 01 has been revealed, making it the first model to be born from the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) project that Chinese car maker Geely has developed with its Swedish subsidiary, Volvo.
Officially launched in Berlin overnight, the 01 is pitched as a premium offering to “address the needs and preferences of the new global and connected generation”.
The connected theme continues to the in-car functions, with the company saying the 01 will always be connected to the internet and to Lynk & Co’s own cloud.
A ‘share’ button will let owners control, monitor and share their cars via the vehicle’s infotainment system or a smartphone.
In terms of design, the 01 is some cross between a Kia Sportage, Jeep Cherokee and a Citroen C4 Aircross.
Lynk & Co’s design has been developed at Geely’s design centre in Sweden, which is led by Peter Horbury, Volvo's former design boss.
The brand’s design language aims to create a strong personality that features both European and Chinese influence.
Andreas Nilsson, head of Lynk & Co’s design team, said: “Our car needed to stand out from the crowd and appeal to a global audience”.
“Our users will be extremely tech-savvy. Our interior design reflects this and feels familiar in the context of new technology.”
Mechanical details are limited, though the company has said the 01 will be built on the CMA platform that will also underpin the next-generation of Volvo’s 40-Series models, including the XC40 SUV due for launch by 2018.
According to a report by the UK’s Autocar, the 01 will likely be powered by a range of engines from Volvo’s family of 2.0-litre fours and 1.5-litre triples.
Carl-Peter Foster, member of the board of directors for both Geely and Volvo, also confirmed with the British publication that a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version will be added after the regular range launches in Europe next year.
Shifting gears will be a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Measuring roughly 4.6 metres long, the Lynk & Co 01 is around the same size as a Nissan X-Trail (4640mm).
Considering its Chinese origins, the company has been quick to point out the 01’s wheelbase is long for its size as its home market places a higher priority on rear legroom compared to luggage space.
Instead of choosing a specific model grade or trim level, buyers will be offered the choice of fixed-price equipment packages to specify their 01 to their tastes.
The Lynk & Co 01 will be the first in a range of new vehicles from the Chinese brand, with the company already mentioning its plans for 02 and 03 names.
According to Alain Visser, senior vice president at Lynk & Co, the company will eventually offer “a premium, state-of-the-art range of cars at the most accessible price points”.
“We will challenge and redesign every link in the chain.”
The company’s simple naming structure – 01, 02, 03 and so on – reflect its concept of simplifying and challenging current conventions in the industry.
Stay tuned for more Lynk & Co updates in the coming days.
- James Wong, CarAdvice.com.au