Lynk & Co is a Chinese mobility company owned by Geely (the same parent company to Volvo), and the simply named 01 is its first production vehicle. It’s a high-riding crossover that shares its platform and drivetrain with the Volvo XC40 - they both use the Swedish manufacturer’s modular CMA chassis architecture.
The 01 has been on sale in China for over a year now, and the company’s initial plan was to start selling it in Europe as of next year. But European automotive journos have had a chance to drive the 01 in production form, and first impressions were very positive.
It looks interesting and distinctive in person, according to first impressions from those who’ve driven it, and the level of fit and finish quality is also high. The driving experience is also rated as good, showing its link to the excellent XC40.
Its designer is actually the same person who penned some of the newest Volvo models, Peter Horbury, and his team. The 01 is definitely a bit strange to behold for European and American tastes, but still familiar enough to not be considered ugly. In other words, its design is much more in tune with Chinese tastes in automotive design, than it is with what Europeans or Americans want, but we wouldn’t call it ugly.
However, the really unique part of the Lynk & Co proposal is the subscription-based way you will be able to get behind the wheel. They will not sell you the car, but instead, present you with a choice of cars in different specs that’ll you’ll subscribe to from month to month. According to the company, this is said to eliminate the stress associated with car ownership (maintenance, servicing and insurance) all of which will be taken care of by Lynk & Co.
The system is currently being tested in China, and if it proves successful, it will be adopted once Lynk & Co hits Europe. You will be able to buy one outright, but the company expects that 70 percent of its customers will opt for the subscription, arguing that people will appreciate the flexibility of being able to return the car at the end of the month, instead of when a conventional lease is concluded.
The plan is to introduce it in Europe in 2019, but there are no guarantees that they will be able to stick to it.
2019 Skoda Kodiaq GT
Skoda recently launched the Kodiaq GT and announced that it is destined to serve as the automaker’s flagship product on the Chinese market. With a "GT" badge, one would assume that the Kodiaq GT would be about extreme performance but, in its best form, it pumps out just 217 horsepower. It does feature some enhancements inside, though, so at least it has that going for it. All four Skoda products currently offered in China are SUVs – the Kamiq, Karoq, Kodiaq, and Kodiaq GT.
2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class L
The Mercedes GLC-Class L is joining the growing list of long-wheelbase SUVs that will be offered in the Chinese market. The extended SUV stretches almost five inches longer than its standard counterpart. Its size and the extra space provided by that size is the only thing different with the GLC-Class L. Everything else is identical to the normal length GLC-Class, right down to its exterior looks and interior layout. The Mercedes GLC-Class L debuts at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition in November.
Here are Offical Shots of the China-Only Kodiaq GT and Leaked Images of its Interior
Skoda unveiled the Kodiaq GT, a mid-size crossover SUV with sportier styling that will only be available in China. The 7-speed DSG gearbox will be standard and, judging by the leaked interior shots, Skoda is targeting a wealthier clientele with this new model.
Czech automaker Skoda, part of the VAG Group, has been on a roll lately. They barely took the wraps off the menacing Kodiaq vRS that claims to be the fastest ever seven-seater SUV to lap the Nurburgring-Nordschleife. Now, they’re back with a new model, the Kodiaq GT, Skoda’s first Coupe SUV.
It features the same sloped rear window like the ’creator’ of this niche, BMW’s X6, but, unlike the Bimmer, you won’t be able to get it unless you live in China.
Keep reading to find out if it’s worth it to move to China for this Skoda
This Teaser for the Chinese-Only Skoda Kodiaq GT Makes us Jealous
Skoda is on a roll with launches and announcements these days, especially vehicles with raised stances. This time, the Czech automaker has released the first teaser images of the Kodiaq GT. Oh yes, it gets the GT moniker. The Kodiaq GT is like the super-sexy, alter-ego version of the Kodiaq, but there’s a catch; the SUV is exclusive to China only.
GAC Motors Reveals the 2019 GAC GS5 at the Paris Motor Show
GAC Motors has pulled the covers off of the GS5 SUV at the Paris Motor Show, signaling the Chinese automaker’s intent to become a major player in the European SUV market. The GS5 is the ninth model to come out of the GAC, which is only celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The relatively young automaker is banking on the GS5 to help establish the brand in a market that hasn’t been kind to Chinese auto brands in the past. There’s no timetable for the GS5’s launch in the European market, nor has GAC announced pricing for the SUV.
Video: Jay Leno Drives a 1978 Hongqi CA770
Jay Leno gets to drive some pretty unusual cars, and this massive Chinese limo is definitely up there with the strangest ones. It’s a 1978 Hongqi CA770, definitely a very intriguing car for any westerner primarily because very few are left, and most of the ones that did remain in Asia - chances are you’ll never see one outside of a museum.
We’re Pretty Sure BMW Will Have a Problem with this "Mini" Knockoff
Chinese firms have never shied away from replicating some of the most loved and respected cars ever to have graced our world. From the Bimmers to the Range Rovers, to the Audis, there is no upmarket car that has not been knocked off. No, these are not mods which you can put in ‘weird car’ section, laugh for a minute, and then forget about. Some of these rip-offs are manufactured by big-shot automakers, and the resemblance is so uncanny, that you wouldn’t even touch it with a ten-foot pole.
Discover What The Potentially Awesome Lynk & Co Car Subscription Service Is All About
Starting a car company is like trying to reinvent the wheel. In other words, it’s almost impossible. It all comes down to offering something no one has offered before and making a marketing campaign so massive it would leave Coca-Cola PRs impressed. Pagani survived thanks to its exceptionally expensive and detailed cars, Tesla offered the first appealing electric cars, while Rimac is still fighting its way in the world of cars without actually producing any (except for some hypercars).
Rimac is developing tech, and things could stay at that. However, we have a newcomer to the world of cars. It is from China and in its first three years among the living it is doing well. At least considering what we can see on the surface.
Lynk & Co was launched as a new company by Zhejiang Geely Holding in 2015. These people own Volvo and are actually sharing Volvo technology with all the cars produced under the Lynk & Co name. While this is a formidable alliance, it is not in itself the most important fact about Lynk & Co. As reported right at the get-go, Lynk & Co cars will be the most connected cars on earth, and they will all offer a special subscription service that releases its users from any hurdles of car ownership.
In essence, like TopGear and many others have reported - Lynk & Co is the Netflix of cars. You subscribe to it via monthly payments and choose a car of your liking. You do not buy, own, maintain, insure, register or take care of anything except for driving. Lynk & Co will do it all for you.
5 Chinese cars you (probably) wouldn’t mind owning
Brace yourself for the wind of change straight from the People’s Republic
After World War II, Japan started making and exporting cars, and people laughed at the prospect. The market eventually realized Japanese-made cars were by no means a laughing matter, though, and their popularity soared to the detriment of locally-manufactured motors.
Next came South Korea. While a few decades behind the Japanese automotive industry at first, it has since caught up and reduced the handicap considerably. The story repeated itself for Korean cars too - in the 1980s and 1990s, they were often ridiculed, and nobody took them seriously, yet they are making cars that are just about on par with what Japan, Europe, and the U.S. are making.
So now that Japan and Korea have established themselves firmly on the global automotive scene, is it time for a new player to step in and shake things up a bit? China seems like the perfect candidate, as most of its domestically designed and manufactured cars are currently being made fun of, people calling them copycat efforts, unsafe, and lacking in technology.
But that perception is slowly changing, and there’s no reason why the Chinese automotive industry won’t match the best the world has to offer within the next decade; they’re already pretty close now with several models which, even as a car savvy American or European, you’d genuinely not mind owning. And, let’s not forget Chinese automakers are, as you are reading this, plotting their entry into the U.S. market. Trumpchi is one such automaker that has clearly announced its ambitions to start selling cars Stateside as early as 2019, albeit under a different brand name that was created specifically for that purpose.
Here are five current Chinese cars you’d (probably) not mind owning.
2018 Audi Q5 L
Audi first began production of the compact Q5 luxury crossover in 2008, with the latest second-generation model dropping in 2016 at the Paris Motor Show. Now, there’s a new long-wheelbase iteration, which just debuted at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show to offer Chinese buyers enhanced cabin space and more comfort.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Audi Q5 L.
The Skoda Kamiq Is a Cool Crossover You Can’t Buy
Much like any mainstream automaker out there, Skoda also jumped on the SUV bandwagon, launching two crossovers over the last two years. Following the introduction of the midsize Kodiaq in 2016, Skoda unveiled the compact Karoq in 2017. Come 2018, and the Czech automaker is adding a third crossover to the lineup. It’s called the Kamiq, it was unveiled in China, and you won’t be able to buy it unless you move to the Asian country.
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class L Sedan
Unveiled as a concept car at the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show, the sedan version of the A-Class unveiled itself to the world in production form at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show. As expected, the A-Class Sedan is pretty much a shrunken CLA, boasting a coupe-style roof and a short deck lid. Shown here is the longer wheelbase version developed specifically for the Chinese market.
Set to go on sale in the second half of 2018, the A-Class L sedan is produced at produced at Beijing Benz Automotive (BBAC), a joint venture between Daimler and BAIC Motor. While the A-Class L won’t be sold outside China, a regular wheelbase model will follow in the second half of the year to take on the Audi A3 Sedan in Europe and the United States. And AMG variant is also likely, but until that happens, let’s find out what sets the A-Class Sedan apart from its hatchback sibling.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz A-Class L Sedan.
Meet the Volkswagen Lavida - One of Volkswagen’s Most Important Models in the Chinese Market
With 3.2 million vehicles sold in 2017, Volkswagen is doing extremely well in China, and it’s not surprising that the company’s current strategy includes the introduction of nine new models in the said market in 2018. One of those cars is the Arteon, which we already saw break cover in Europe and the U.S. But unlike these two markets, China is getting the Arteon with a CC badge. Another new model is the Lavida, which was redesigned after six years on the market and launched at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show.
Lynk & Co Pulls the Sheets Off of the 02 Premium Crossover
Lynk & Co. is making another statement with the launch of its latest vehicle, the eponymously named 02 crossover. Unveiled in Amsterdam, the 02 — it’s pronounced as “zero-two” — is the latest creation from the off-the-cuff sub-brand that Chinese automaker Geely created in 2016. Despite its name, the 02 is actually the third model to come out of Lynk & Co., following in the footsteps already laid by the 01 SUV and the 03 saloon. The compact crossover is expected to spearhead the automaker’s plan to ingratiate itself to a younger market that embraces a “shareable and ultra-connected” lifestyle with plans to offer the model online or through a subscription service.
Mercedes; ehhh Daimler; has a new EV, but You’ll Never See it
Over in China, Mercedes has partnered up with BYD to create a company known as Shenzhen Denza New Energy Automotive Co. You’ve probably never heard of them before, but they have an EV known as the Denza 400 that was built just for China. The Denza just got a facelift, and with it, comes a new name to symbolize its new range. It’s now known as the Denza 500, and while it might look like a hatchback, it’s actually a sedan with, well, no ass at all.
Xiaopeng Says it Scored $350 Million in Extra Funding, $800 Million Total
Xiaopeng Motors, also known as Xpeng, first made waves at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show with the introduction of the G3, an all-electric SUV that it’s planning to release later this year to combat the Tesla Model X. Now, the latest in a litany of Chinese electric car startups is dreaming of a bigger piece of the electric car market, and according to the South China Morning Post, it has accumulated a fresh batch of investments totalling $350 million. All told, the company says it has received around $800 million in funding from investors like Chinese e-commerce colossus Alibaba and iPhone manufacturer Foxconn.
GAC Could Make its U.S. Launch Via FCA Dealerships
For those who were surprised to see GAC Motors at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, don’t be. The Chinese automaker has made plans to enter the U.S. market known. Now it looks like it may have found a door to enter, one that’s being opened by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. A report from The New York Times revealed that the automakers are in discussions on a partnership that will allow FCA dealerships to sell GAC models in the US as early as 2019.
China’s GAC Motor is Bringing Compact Sedan andElectric Concept to the Detroit Auto Show
Rumors about certain Chinese carmakers planning to come to the U.S. have been flying around for years, but nothing has happened as of early 2018. However, there are signs that we may soon get vehicles made in Asia. Trumpchi, a brand owned by GAC Group, is supposed to begin selling an SUV in North America in 2019, while GAC itself has already tested U.S. waters with a couple of concepts at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Fast forward 12 months and GAC is bringing another batch of new vehicles to Detroit.
China Government Bans 553 Cars Because Pollution
It’s no secret that China has some of the worst air pollution in the world even with a huge improvement over the last year. And, the Chinese government thinks it can make it even better. It all starts with the banning of 553 vehicle models that don’t meet fuel consumption standards. We have yet to see a full list of specific vehicles that have been banned, but we do know they include models from Chevy, Audi, and Mercedes Benz – models like the Audi FV7145LCDBG sedan (Audi A1,) Mercedes BJ302ETAL2 sedan, and Chevy’s SGM7161DAA2 sedan (Similar to a Chevy Aveo). The production ban will commence on January 1st, 2018 according to the China Vehicle Technology Sevice Center and is the first official ban on specific vehicles in the country.
Wang Liushend, an analyst at China Merchants Securities, said, “To emphasize a cut back on energy consumption, such documents will surface frequently in the future. It’s an essential move to ensure the healthy development of the industry in the long run.”
As far as the number of vehicles actually produced in China, your guess is as good as ours, but according to the secretary general of the China Passenger Car Association, Cui Dongshu, those 553 models account for a “very small” percentage. Of course, vehicles are a very small part of China’s pollution problem, with air quality typically getting much worth in the winter months, as such, the country has worked tirelessly to switch homes from coal to natural gas heating and it has even reduced steel production by as much as 50 percent in some areas.
In the end, this ban might help the country a little bit, however, it’s a long road to travel, and you can surely expect the country to initialize more bans in the future. It has even said that it would like to jump on the wagon of banning vehicles powered by fossil fuel at some point – much like France and the U.K. have aimed to do by 2040. Is this what we can expect in the future. Will more countries, including the U.S. begin strong-arming automakers to quit producing certain vehicles? Is the move away from fossil fuels happening too soon? Are we really ready to go fossil fuel free in the next 20 years? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Fastest Selling Car in History is.... the Lynk & Co 01
From a mysterious start-up a year ago to a record-breaking company today, Lynk & Co is living it up in the auto industry. The Geely-owned car brand that prides itself more on being a connected and sharable mobility brand than a traditional automaker has made headlines for receiving 6,000 orders for the 01 SUV, all in a span of 137 seconds. The record sales event occurred after Lynk & Co’s first online store started pre-selling the 01 SUV on November 17. What was supposed to be a three-day sales event took less than three minutes to complete, a startling pace for a company that only has one model in its portfolio, and is itself barely a year old.
FCA Could Be Bought by a Chinese Automaker
Formed in 2014, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) alliance has been doing very good these past three years, which is why Sergio Marchionne is on the lookout to either sell the company or make another merger with a big brand. FCA was refused by General Motors back in 2015 and Marchionne’s attempts to find a new collaboration have been unsuccessful so far. However, it seems that FCA is actually on the brink of finding a new owner. According to new reports, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has received at least one offer in August from a "well-known Chinese automaker."
That’s the word from Automotive News, which claims that the over was slightly higher than FCA’s current market value, but the Italian-American alliance rejected it for not being enough. There’s no detailed information as to what Chinese automaker made the offer, but speculation has it that FCA is negotiating with more than one company. Also, a source close to FCA said that company executives have traveled to China to meet with Great Wall Motor Co., while different sources claim talks with Dongfeng Motor Corp., Zhejiang Geely, and Guangzhou Automobile Group.
Continue reading for the full story.