01 SUV “production ready,” 03 saloon concept previews the next step.
Despite being a Chinese-backed and China-based company, Lynk & Co. never got a local introduction with the same sort of pomp and fanfare as it did during its European debut. They’ve fixed that though, with the new Geely company coming in hot at the Shanghai motor show this week, in Shanghai.
Along with the brand introduction, Lynk & Co. brought its “production ready” 01 SUV out for the first time, giving the world a look at a car that’ll go on sale (in China) by the end of this year. There is little differentiation to report, as the production 01 looks very, very similar to the concept 01 SUV that we first saw five months ago.
Lynk & Co. senior VP Alain Visser had this to say: “Having launched Lynk & Co. in Europe just five months ago, we are now ready to roll-out our unique brand of connected mobility with a number of new car models featuring the world’s first digital in-car share button. Our promise of a new dimension of vehicle connectivity and shareability, coupled with a revolutionary approach to buying and ownership, is further strengthened with both free connectivity and lifetime warranties as standard with the Lynk & Co. package.”
The upstart marque has brought about bold promises with its Chinese launch: Free connectivity, and lifetime warranties on all Lynk & Co. vehicles moving forwards. Both services will be offered globally, with the first iterations of such offers will be seen when 01 SUVs go on sale later this year. The brand is keen to emphasise that it will further detail these services when he cars go on sale in China in Q4, and the US & Europe in 2019. The 01 SUV will debut with a selection of engines developed by Volvo, including the 1.5-turbo three-pot and 2.0-turbo four-pot, along with a plug-in hybrid variant.
The 01 wasn’t riding solo in Shanghai, though. Along for the ride was the 03 saloon concept, “a [saloon] that turns heads.” Described as a mid-sized sports saloon, it takes the distinctive design we loved from the SUV and melds it onto a saloon body style. The most significant changes here are the slimmer headlights, as well as yellow-bronze lines that define the roof from the body.
Peter Hobury, Geely’s Group Vice President of Design, talked about how significant a saloon is in the Chinese market. “In China,” he explained, “the [saloon] segment is a crowded, difficult area to make a mark in – that was our challenge as the design team for Lynk & Co. How far can we stretch the rules of [saloon] design, to ensure we stand out and add the unique Lynk & Co. flavour to the car? We started with some clear defining ambitions: to look solid, have an imposing presence and to make a striking visual impression. The result is the 03 Concept – our first Lynk & Co. [saloon] – which encapsulates muscular solid volumes, our unique brand elements and intricate, high-tech details resulting in a design that is bold and sporty.”
Beneath all the hardware talk, there’s an interesting new business plan at play. Frustratingly, the company has only alluded to what they’ve got in store, and given us little to work with. They talk about “hassle-free ownership options” and “redesigning the way in which automotive products are bought, owned, and used,” though there’s little more to it than that marketing gab. Naturally, we’re excited to see what they’re on about, which they promise to reveal in full when the 01 goes on sale later this year.
Stay tuned to CarShowroom for more details as they come.