The nascent automotive startup Lynk & Co wants to be seen as a global company. The spawn of Chinese automaker Geely, it hopes to disrupt the industry through connectivity and alternative ownership formats. Geely also owns the Swedish brand Volvo, which will share parts and platforms with Lynk & Co, with hopes to sell cars eventually in the United States and throughout Europe. The new brand has endured skepticism and , but its plan has taken one step closer to reality as Lynk & Co unveils its third model, the 02 SUV, and maps out details for its rollout in Europe.
The 02 SUV joins the 01 compact CUV—which we’ve —and the . Lynk & Co did not release much information, although it did release plenty of photos that shows every part of the vehicle. It features similar styling to the other two models, with a frumpy face and Nissan Juke–like high-mounted headlights, a floating roof, plastic cladding around the wheel arches, a light bar that stretches across the rear, and dual exhaust tips within a rear diffuser. The body is slightly more swoopy than that of the 01, however, with extra creases across the doors and shoulders. Lynk & Co said it plans to begin with “hybrid-only electrified derivatives” for its first vehicles, including the 02.
Following the launch of the brand in China in 2017, Lynk & Co said it will begin production of the 01 CUV at Volvo’s Ghent, Belgium, factory in 2019. The 01 will be made on the same line as the Volvo XC40 and will share Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform. The first “offline store”—not a dealership—will open in Amsterdam, with plans for other boutiques in Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, and London. Pop-up stores are also a possibility.
Although Lynk’s cars might borrow from other brands, the company’s business model represents an attempt to map out new territory. Unlike other manufacturers, which allow customers to take a base car and build it into their ideal ride through various options and packages, Lynk & Co will only offer “collections.” These collections will be equipped in one way and have one price. The cars can be browsed at one of the boutiques and ordered online, with the choice to buy or subscribe. The models will also have a built-in option to , similar to the way the popular app Turo allows owners to rent out their cars. We are promised more details on the brand’s U.S. plans later in the year.