Lynk & Co's 02 Sport Crossover SUV Model
From advanced car-sharing to local manufacturing, the experimental Geely brand comes to Europe
Swathed in mystery Lynk & Co unveiled their 01 vehicle in 2016. It was a tech-driven concept turned compact (or, almost mid-sized) SUV. The Geely sub-brand (and young Volvo sibling) purported to be direct-to-consumer and rentable via app. But while the debut happened in Berlin, sales would commence in China. Now, however, the brand is making its way to Europe—stemming from a recently announced production base in Ghent, Belgium (where Volvos are also produced). Retail will follow, and with it, a new, smaller and sportier crossover SUV: the 02. Its athletic curves counter its tinier frame, making it an ideal vehicle for European performance.
When it hit the market in China last November, the 01 set records as the quickest-selling car in the world—Geely reports that there were 6,000 online sales in 137 seconds. The 02 is built on the same Volvo body platform at the 01, known as Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), but for the 02 it's been shortened and lowered substantially. The engines will also be drawn from the Volvo roster, including one that's 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged, available as a hybrid or plug-in hybrid. Reports state that a pure electric vehicle is anticipated for 2021.
As with its two predecessors (including the 03, which was announced before the 02), this vehicle was developed in Gothenburg, Sweden—designed under Andreas Nilsson, previously of Volvo and Ford. Here, a hatchback body sort of comes into an SUV chassis. It's done so in a way that closely resembles its sibling models but also demonstrates its muscle-driven agility. Further, it's equipped with automatic transmissions in Europe, and there will be a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
Regarding the technology that the brand makes note of, there's the constant WiFi-connectivity and services like Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink but also smartphone as key capabilities, vehicle-to-vehicle communication and an app store. There's also the highly anticipated car-sharing button. Lynk & Co promises an electronic button in the vehicle that when pressed will ping other vetted users who can then loan the owner's (or renter's) car for the day. On top of that, there's the potential subscription model of ownership, wherein buyers (or those in a low-commitment lease) would pay monthly.
With the pre-production model preview of the 02, Lynk & Co also showed their latest pre-production 03 sedan, which debuted last year as a concept. It may only be for the Chinese market (though, perhaps it may only be produced in China but for a global market, details are vague here) but the design language will feel very familiar to most, especially those who can recognize Porsche influences to the front end. It was recently viewed undergoing cold weather testing, which stewed up further excitement. Inside, one can expect the same hyper-connectivity Lynk & Co promises across the brand.
Online sales will commence in Europe in 2020, beginning in Amsterdam, and then followed by Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels and London. Europe will definitely get the 01 and 02. It's predicted that America will also get the 01, but not until 2021 or later. In the meantime, we're curious to see what else Lynk & Co have up their sleeve.
Images courtesy of Lynk & Co