This will be the car that’ll dominate Europe.
Despite this being Lynk & Co’s third car, because they decided to be obtuse and announce the 01 and 03 first, it's called the 02. Essentially a smaller version of the 01 SUV, the 02 crossover is purportedly engineered and designed with Europe in mind, hence its smaller proportions and promise of a more agile, engaging drive.
Built on the Volvo-developed ‘Compact Modular Architecture’ (CMA) platform, the 02 is not only about the same size as the Volvo XC40, but it’ll also carry similar powertrains. The 02 will launch in 2020 with either a petrol-electric hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrain, with both options pairing a 1.5-litre three-cylinder Drive-E turbocharged mill to a bank of batteries and an electric motor.
“As a global brand with a strong European identity, these announcements in our home nations fill me with pride. From our headquarters in Sweden, we will roll-out sales with an initial focus on key European cities for our target audience of globally connected urbanites. We will manufacture in Europe, for Europe, focusing initially on hybrid-only electrified derivatives of our new range of cars, further expanded today with the youthful 02.” — Alain Visser, Senior Vice President, Lynk & Co
With Lynk & Co already on sale in China, the brand has established itself as “hot property” in cities from Beijing to Shanghai. However, the 02 was designed to plug a gap in the lineup, with a car that would appeal most to European buyers, where tastes can differ wildly from the preferences of the Chinese market.
Where the Chinese prefer cars that are large and comfortable, Europeans prefer more engaging cars that are more subtle, and understated. Geely Group CEO Cong Hui An said that the 02 “is a sports crossover that builds on the success of the 01,” and that with its addition to the range, it gives Lynk & Co greater “European credentials.”
Being a new-age brand, Lynk emphasises the connectivity options of their cars. As such, the 02 is not only “always connected” to the Internet (of this we are skeptical, as even our phones can blank out periodically), and benefits from cloud connectivity as well. Further, Lynk says that the 02, like all its cars, gains something it says is “the world’s first in-car share button.” Sounds like one of those features that motoring hacks like this writer will be too afraid to touch.
When Lynk & Co launches in Europe (starting in Amsterdam before branching out to London, Belgium, Brussels, Barcelona), the company will offer its cars for purchase via a “no commitment” subscription system. With tenures ranging from 1- to 36-months, buyers will be able to choose from eight ‘personas’ with a number of exterior colour options available (instead of an endlessly-long and heinously-expensive list of extra features). This mirrors the packages offered under Care by Volvo, as well as by nascent performance brand Polestar.
Lynk’s cars will not only share underpinnings with Volvo models, however: The brand is set to roll models out of Volvo’s plant in Ghent, Belgium. The sales model will be different from Volvo’s more traditional approach though, as Lynk & Co will only offer a handful of ‘Offline Stores’ that will function like typical showrooms as well as ‘pop-up stores’ that will appear periodically in specific locations. Sales for the company will be driven almost entirely by its online system, which the company says will drastically reduce the cost of maintaining a dealer network, which will result in a reduced subscription/purchase cost for buyers, too.
Stay tuned to CarShowroom as we bring you more updates as they come.