New car brands don't come around all that often, and it can be difficult for them to establish themselves when they do. Lynk & Co, a subsidiary of Geely, isn't fazed by the challenge. The Lynk & Co 01 has been designed as the world's most connected car, built from the ground up to interact with smartphones and web-driven services.
Although Geely is Chinese, the Lynk & Co 01 has Swedish blood running through its veins. It's built on a modular platform shared with Volvo (another Geely subsidiary), designed to house a range of petrol, hybrid and electric powertrains, along with the latest active and passive safety features.
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At the moment, there's no word about just what those powertrains will be at launch, but you can expect to see a range of 1.5 and 2.0-liter Volvo engines connected with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The company says the car's body has been built with a stiff body for sharp handling and a smooth, quiet ride inside. If the latest Volvo offerings are anything to go by, that's not so unbelievable.
So far, the underpinnings sound good, but there might be a hitch along the way. That hitch is the exterior styling, which (to our eyes at least) looks like an awkward blend of Porsche Cayenne and Kia Telluride Concept up front, and the rear falls somewhere between the Range Rover Evoque and Jeep Cherokee.
Lynk & Co is taking a new approach to sales and distribution, though. Like Tesla, the company will be selling its cars directly to customers, either through an online store or physical retail-style locations. Customers will be able to buy the cars outright, but there will also be subscription and sharing membership options.
Right out of the box the car is ready to be shared, using digital locks to let drivers share the car with family or friends for a set period of time set through a smartphone app. This business model is designed to cut down on distribution costs, a saving which will be passed onto the customer in the end.
The Lynk & Co 01 will hit the Chinese market in 2017, followed by Europe and the USA.
Source: Lynk & CoView gallery - 11 images