From China and Sweden, With Love: Lynk & Co Promises 'Always Connected' Compact SUV in the U.S. for 2018

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
from china and sweden with love lynk co promises always connected compact suv

New car brands don’t come around every day, and when they do, they never launch with a real, honest-to-God, physical car at the ready. I should say “almost never,” as Chinese automaker Geely’s collaboration with Volvo has already yielded automotive fruit.

That comes as a relief after the company told us to “think beyond the car.” Sure, Lynk & Co’s marketing hype is still omnipresent, but now there is something tangible to attach it to.

Automotive News tells us the compact SUV is called 01 and will be a hybrid, powered by a 1.5 liter three-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electric motor. The little crossover also rides on the Compact Modular Architecture platform, which it shares with its sibling from Sweden, the upcoming XC40.

Currently, transmission options include a manual or a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic.

Lynk & Co is also building a 2.0-liter inline four. Both it and the 1.5-liter engine will be built in China with technology on loan from Volvo. The company also plans to add a compact sedan and other models to its fleet using the shared platform with Volvo.

While there’s no actual numbers being tossed around, Lynk & Co says it wants to keep vehicle prices low through a sales and distribution model based on online retailing and direct sales from its own stores. Avoiding the large distribution fees associated with dealerships should offer significant savings, according to the company. Lynk wants to go as far as delivering the 01 directly to the buyer’s home, and picking it up from the owner for servicing.

“Our aim is to enrich and simplify car ownership by re-defining how cars are bought, owned, connected, serviced and used,” Alain Visser, Lynk’s senior vice president, said in a statement.

How this can work in the U.S. — where many states have strict provisions against direct-to-consumer car sales — is unknown. Lynk also plans to keep prices down by offering a set number of vehicle trims to minimize build configurations and lower its manufacturing costs.

As for the accuracy of its “born digital” slogan, the company has been working with Microsoft and Alibaba to create a digital customer infrastructure, while Ericsson has helped design a car-connectivity cloud. All models will come with a large central console and be permanently connected to the Internet and its own inter-vehicle cloud network. This allows the owner to provide others with access to the vehicle using a shareable digital key. Owners can then use the Lynk app to control and monitor their car from a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

The Lynk & Co 01 will arrives in the Chinese market in 2017, followed by Europe and the United States.

[Images: Lynk & Co]

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  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂