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.