L ynk and co do their own thing. From the outside, the “01” from the Chinese Geely Group, which Volvo also belongs to, has nothing to do with Scandinavian design - the same applies to the interior. The red and black honeycomb patterns in the door panels look chic, feel valuable and have a good finish. The seats made of a leather-Alcantara mix with red decorative stitching are not only a visual eye-catcher, but also pleasantly upholstered and shaped.
Nevertheless, you can clearly feel that there is a price class difference between Volvo and Lync. For example, the large touchscreen could be a little more responsive - especially because Lynk & Co, as a young brand, says it wants to be particularly committed to connectivity. It would be nice if the smartphone apps could also be operated lightly using the touchscreen. Overall, the interior design is more pragmatic than detailed.
Modest all-round view in the Lynk and Co 01
The equipment options of the Lync SUV can also be described as simple: there should be exactly one of them but it should contain a lot, including a rear view camera. The compact SUV desperately needs this technology, because the extremely wide C-pillar means that all-round visibility to the rear is very limited. Overall, it is quite dark in the rear of the zero liner, even though it has a panoramic glass roof as standard. Perhaps the other color schemes of the Lync & Co offer 01 a more cozy atmosphere.
Like many Chinese brands before, Lynk & Co is starting with great ambitions. New models, new technologies and new services related to mobility should accompany the Lynk start. It starts with the Lynk & Co 01 model, a compact SUV. Then a whole product family should be built with the 02, 03 and so on. They want to become a full-range supplier.
Plug-in hybrid SUV with Volvo technology
The Lynk & Co 01, which is due to hit the market in 2017, will be an SUV with a plug -in hybrid drive. The compact SUV is based on the CMA (Common Modular Architecture) platform developed jointly with Volvo, theat Volvo will only be used from 2018 with the new XC40. The concept cars Volvo 40.1 and 40.2 already gave an outlook. The design largely corresponds to European taste.
The central component of the operating philosophy is the smartphone. To do this, the Chinese rely on networking and personalized services.
The drive is initially taken over by two petrol and one diesel engines with a power range from 150 to 197 hp. The three-cylinder petrol engine should produce 180 hp, the two-liter four-cylinder 197 hp. There is also a turbo three-cylinder gasoline engine in combination with an electric motor. Shifting takes place via a seven-speed dual clutch transmission or manual gearbox.
In terms of safety, the Lynk models should also benefit from the technically related Volvo models. The Chinese speak of top scores in international crash tests. The safety equipment includes an emergency braking system with pedestrian detection, a collision warning, an adaptive cruise control, blind spot assistant, lane departure warning and other assistants.
The Chinese also want to break new ground in sales. There is no traditional dealer network, and sales are made via online platforms. It is delivered directly to the customer. The new sales channel is intended to significantly reduce costs, which should benefit the vehicle buyer. Lynk promises extremely competitive prices that should not be further diluted by options that are subject to a surcharge, because there will be no surcharge lists. The factory equipment should completely satisfy the customers.
The Lynk & Co models are to be manufactured in China at the Thaizhou location. In China, the Lynk models will also be launched in 2017. Then in 2019 the markets in Europe and the USA will follow.
Ten things that we noticed about Lynk & Co
1. The name: It should express the connection (link) of the brand to the future, to the customer, to the world around it. Since many of the attributes that management would like to convey through the brand begin with 'co' in English, the idiosyncratic addition was created. However, only Lynk is on the steering wheel.
2. The product: Actually a fairly conventional vehicle, not a revolutionary one that was designed from the outset and exclusively as an electric SUV, for example. Sure, Lynk wants to stand out from the competition with the design. And the price. And the sales concept.
3. The price: the manufacturer doesn't say anything specific yet. Brand boss Alain Visser describes it as follows: “If you will, it's an Audi at the VW price”. That means: Lynk promises premium technology at the prices of a volume manufacturer.
4. The sales concept: Lynk does not actually want to set up a network of authorized dealers, but rather sell the cars over the Internet - but on the other hand, open around 100 manufacturer-owned points of sale in Germany.
5. The service: Lynk announces that it will pick up the vehicle for inspection from the customer and bring it back again. Free. “The Volvo dealers could do that in order to utilize their workshops,” says Visser. The guarantee should cover at least five years or 150,000 kilometers.
6. The partnership with Volvo: Lynk belongs to the Chinese Geely Auto Group - as does Volvo. The subsidiary China Euro Vehicle Technology (CEVT), based in Gothenburg, is responsible for the technology. 1,500 people from 20 nations are employed in the headquarters alone. Lynk is very aggressive with his Swedish relatives, and Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson wished his colleagues every success with the presentation. The management obviously takes a certain cannibalization into account.
7. The technology: According to the vehicle concept, so more conventional. The SUV simply called 01 starts with two petrol and one diesel engine. The three-cylinder petrol engine should produce 180 hp, the two-liter four-cylinder 197 hp, but with 330 instead of 265 Nm develops significantly more torque. The diesel engine has 150 hp and 320 Nm and should get by with 4.9 L /100 km. Even more economical: the plug-in hybrid, which combines the three-cylinder turbo gasoline engine with a 55 kW electric motor.
8. The optional extras: There are none. Instead there are four equipment lines with fixed scopes for production logistics andthus keeping costs down. Nevertheless, Lynk promises a high degree of customization - through the integration of the smartphone.
9. Connectivity: A Lynk customer should not simply connect his smartphone to the car, but rather connect the car to the manufacturer's own cloud via the smartphone. Lynk also invites everyone to create a new app for the car. What does that mean exactly? There is no specific information on this. The fact that the SUV knows where to find the nearest free parking space or the cheapest fuel does not sound particularly spectacular.
10. Self-confidence: Of course, a manufacturer has to be convinced of what he is doing. However, the promise to offer products that offer Swedish safety technology with the suspension comfort and handling of German vehicles as well as unprecedented connectivity would still seem very ambitious if it came from Volvo. Although: it actually does. Somehow.
Above all renting out Lynk models
On the subject of sales, the new car brand Lynk & Co named the following goals. 'If we are represented with an extensive range of vehicles in all of the world's major markets, we should be able to sell around 500,000 cars a year,' said Geely Sales Manager Alain Visser auto motor und sport. That will be soon after the launch of the brand, which will be launched in China in 2017 and introduced in Germany in 2018. Lynk & Co will reach the mark of 500,000 sold cars 'around four years after the brand was launched, in other words in 2021', says Visser.
The new cars can also be bought, and Geely especially wants the cars of the new brand Lynk & Co mainly rent. “First of all, instead of a cash price, we communicate a usage fee - similar to what happens with a smartphone. So you pay monthly installments for two years and then swap your car in for a new one, so you are always up to date Find around 100 points of sale in shopping centers nationwide. There will be no real dealer network with workshops. Repairs are to be carried out by Volvo dealers.
It is not yet clear which drive variants Lynk & Co will start with in Germany at the end of 2018. 'It is quite possible that we will only be offering the 01 as a hybrid model when it starts in Europe at the end of 2018,' says Visser. “In China, we are bringing conventional drives first.” An electric version of the 01 is also planned. How far can it go? “We have a range target for the electric version that is at least 350 kilometers. I am also not sure whether the market for purely battery-powered vehicles can develop out of its current niche within the next two years. '