The first car in the Lynk & Co range is the 01, a bold and tech-laden SUV built on Volvo Cars’ Compact Modular Architecture (CMA). The Lynk & Co 01 will be followed by 02, 03 and so forth as a full range, reflecting the brand’s idea of simplifying and challenging industry conventions, right down to model names.
The 01 is characterised by a strong personality in its design, capturing both its European and Chinese genes, and the latest technology, the heart of which is an “always connected’ state”, plus an open application programming interface (API).
Both the Lynk & Co brand and the 01 have been developed to address the needs and preferences of the new global and connected generation of consumers. The 01’s natural habitat is the megacity, and these frantic and culturally diverse places have provided much inspiration.
Geely Design Sweden, part of Geely Design Global led by executive vice president of design for Geely Auto Group, Peter Horbury, has developed the design philosophy and form language for Lynk & Co with support from studios in Shanghai, Barcelona and Los Angeles.
Engineering and technology for the new range have been developed under CEVT (China Euro Vehicle Technology), the shared Geely-Volvo research and innovation centre.
The new Lynk & Co 01, and each of the following Lynk & Co models, will be based on the CMA (Compact Modular Architecture), an advanced modular architecture capable of accommodating many body styles and sizes, and which also underpins Volvo’s next-generation compact car range and many upcoming Geely models.
As well as its dimensions, CMA is also wholly modular, able to accommodate a wide range of different powertrains, electrical systems, passive and active safety systems and technologies. Thanks to CEVT’s focus on digital simulation, the architecture has been developed with advanced quality far quicker than conventional automotive structures.
The core and heart of the Lynk & Co brand is connectivity. Customers will find a range of connected technologies on offer in the vehicles, all aimed at making life easier. Every model will come with a large central touchscreen and telematics systems that are always connected to the internet and the car’s own cloud.
The car has a share button, enabling the owner to provide others with access to the vehicle via a shareable digital key. Via the Lynk & Co app, they can control, monitor and share their car from a smartphone or directly from within the car.
Lynk & Co sets out from the start to be open to outside innovation and aims to be the first organisation in the world to leverage a complete commercial platform, to bring innovative applications and services to the customer.
Working with Microsoft and Alibaba to explore a whole new digital customer infrastructure for the car industry, Lynk & Co will offer new digital ordering, supply, sales and CRM systems, along with custom applications for user interaction.
The company has also teamed up with Ericsson to create the latest car connectivity cloud. The digital platform will feature an API open to third-party developers, which will provide endless opportunities to personalise, enrich and expand the ownership experience.
The new Lynk & Co 01 and all subsequent models will perform at the cutting edge of the sector in terms of vehicle safety. A very experienced safety team, drawing on expertise and legacy from the Volvo Safety Centre, has developed CMA, the vehicle structure and safety systems. All Lynk & Co models will achieve top safety ratings in China, Europe and US.
The Lynk & Co range, beginning with the 01, will be available with a range of ultra-efficient powertrains. The engines will allow for fuel economy figures and performance among the best in their class. Helping to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions further is a state-of-the-art 7-speed dual-clutch transmission developed by CEVT, which will be available across the lineup alongside a manual gearbox. All models will offer electrified powertrains.
Developed by highly experienced expert engineering teams both in Europe and China, the Lynk & Co 01 has been optimised to suit global tastes with benchmarks set against the premium and popular compact SUVs of the world.
While the industry traditionally relies heavily on a dealership model, Lynk & Co will interact directly with its customers. Its cars will be sold online or in owned stores in strategic retail locations, with fixed and transparent prices. Cars will be delivered, and picked up for service, directly at the door of the consumer. New solutions for car usage and access will be offered – from traditional ownership and leasing to subscription and sharing-membership.
With distribution costs typically in the region of 25 percent of the price of a car, Lynk & Co’s efficient business model will deliver significant savings reflected in highly competitive pricing.
Lynk & Co has also abandoned the traditional concept of meagre base models and long option lists that create infinite build configurations and costs in manufacturing. Inspired by the fashion and technology sectors, Lynk & Co has replaced “trim levels and option lists” with a simple selection of fully equipped, fixed-price collections themed to meet customer preferences.
The Lynk & Co 01 is designed and engineered in Sweden for the global market. It will go on sale in China in 2017, followed by Europe, the US and possibly Asia.