2020 Lynk & Co 01 Coupe
A BMW X2 fighter worth looking out forby Andrei Nedelea, on
Get ready for yet another coupe-like SUV, this time from a fledgling manufacturer that has yet to establish itself: Lynk & Co. This time the vehicle in question currently doesn’t yet have a name, but we do know it is the more rakish and slightly less practical version of the high-riding 01 model.
The vehicle was recently spotted by our spies under thick camouflage, but we are able to make out its BMW X6-inspired rear end design, as well as the same front end as on the 01 - the car in the photos looks like it’s the same until the B-pillar, but from there on its roofline dips in fastback style.
Its interior and engine range will be the same, although the coupe variant of the SUV may come with sportier suspension tuning and slightly less emphasis on comfort - this is also what other manufacturers that have such vehicles do to give these models more than just a visual differentiation.
And in the not too distant future, we may start to see lots of Lynk & Co vehicles not only in Europe but also the States. Geely, the Chinese automotive giant that owns Lynk & Co (as well as Volvo), is examining possibilities to open manufacturing facilities in Gent, Belgiu as well as in North Carolina.
2020 Lynk & Co 01 Coupe
2020 Lynk & Co 01 Coupe Exterior
Despite having the main parts of interest covered by deliberately unrevealing camouflage, we can still draw a lot from this prototype. It’s very clear that its designers are going for a BMW X6- and X4-style roofline, which has since been adopted by Mercedes for its CLE Coupe and GLC Coupe models. Now this Lynk & Co joins the club whose roster is rounded off by an upcoming Kadjar-sized Renault model.
It’s an elite club with very few members, but that’s probably partly due to the fact that this style of SUV is not unanimously agreed upon to be good looking. Some manufacturers have taken note of this and have designed the coupe-like SUVs in their range based on the X6 look - think Audi Q8 or Range Rover Velar.
But Lynk & Co is clearly going to make it, so for fans of the shape, there will be one more model to choose from. And since it shares its face with the regular 01 SUV, the shape of the rear roofline may not be the only polarizing part of its design.
The fascia has a big wide grille about in the middle which actually houses the headlight main beam and high beam clusters - the design tries to conceal the headlights, like some were in 1970s muscle cars, and you only really notice them when they are turned on (which they won’t be all the time since the LED strip daytime running lights are located above, on the upper edge of the front fender. It’s a bold look, but being a brand new manufacturer, Lynk & Co needs its cars to get noticed one way or another.
From the side, the source of inspiration for the shape is undeniable, right down to the noticeable ducktail spoiler on the leading edge of the rear hatch. Even the lower part of the bumper appears to be identical to what we see on the 01 SUV. It also looks as if this coupe version will also retain the 01’s fake side vent.
What’s a bit strange about this new coupe-like model is that they’re making it even though the regular 01 already has a pretty sporty profile from the side, complete with a roofline that falls towards the rear, as well as a steeply raked rear screen. So they’re essentially going to give you the choice to have your SUV’s look “sporty” or “sportier.”
The lower part of the rear end looks identical to the 01, and both models will probably use the same rear light cluster design - the lights on both sides are connected by a black bar of glossy plastic that carries the Lynk & Co script. The bumper is definitely identical, with the same twin exhaust pipes coming out quite close to the edges of the bumper itself, in order to give the car a wider stance when viewed from behind.
2020 Lynk & Co 01 Coupe Interior
The interior of the 01 coupe looks distinctly Volvo-esque, although if you were to compare its interior to the one of the mechanically related Volvo Xc40, you’d be hard pressed to put your finger on why exactly one gets that feeling.
The expensive looking metallic door handles, the stubby selector for the automatic gearbox and the simple looking switchgear all scream Volvo, but you won’t actually find them in the XC40.
Unlike the XC40, which comes with a portrait-style infotainment screen, the 01 has a more common landscape screen. And instead of the Volvo’s two long and thin vertical air conditioning vents, the 01 has two rounded rectangles placed atop the dash.
The dash itself is simple and free of clutter, although it still seems to have a reassuring number of physical buttons, unlike the Volvo which has you swiping through screens to access some functions.
All examples come with a full digital gauge cluster displayed on a 10-inch screen; the infotainment also runs on a 10-inch screen, but one with a different aspect ratio.
The overall level of perceived quality is also surprisingly high (although not when you think this is built in the same factory as Volvos) and you really get a sense that it’s very solid and materials are for the most part excellent to the touch.
2020 Lynk & Co 01 Coupe Drivetrain
Chinese versions of this model will probably run a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine also used in Volvos where it is known as the T4. It makes 190 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque and will be offered with two different automatic gearboxes depending on where the drive goes - front-wheel drive examples get a seven-speed dual-clutch, while all-wheel drive examples get a more traditional six-speed automatic.
However, it is believed that for the European market, Lynk & Co is only planning to sell the 01 and 01 coupe in either plug-in hybrid or pure electric form. The former mates a Volvo-sourced 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo engine with an electric motor, but we don’t yet know how much power and range it or the all-electric model may have.
For Europe, Lynk & Co will also move to using an eight-speed automatic gearbox, probably in the plug-in hybrid, as it seems to be the only one on offer that’ll need one.
2020 Lynk & Co 01 Coupe Prices
In China, the Lynk & C0 01 SUV starts from just under the equivalent of $25,000 / €20.000, although in Europe it may end up being quite a bit more expensive. And that’s not down to import tariffs (since the plan is to build it locally wherever it will be sold) but to the fact that only well equipped models will be offered (there won’t be a base model with less kit on it), as well as its availability only as a hybrid or all-electric vehicle.
2020 Lynk & Co 01 Coupe Competition
Range Rover pulled the wraps off its all-new Evoque which looks like a slightly more modern and much rounder interpretation of the previous model. But that means it retains the Evoque’s falling roofline that does noticeably fall towards the back of the vehicle - it’s a less obvious coupe SUV mix.
The Evoque should also be about the same size as this 01 coupe too, although its interior does feel more special and it has a wider choice of engines for buyers to choose from, even diesels which Lynk & Co has announced it is not interested in.
However, some will still prefer the more extreme style of the Lynk & Co which combined with its lower price and the fact that nobody has ever seen one in Europe just might make it more enticing for specific buyers looking to stand out.
Read our full review on the 2020 Range Rover Evoque
BMW doesn’t do all its even-numbered X-badged models the same way - you’d expect the X2 to be a smaller version of the X4 (and X6), but really it carves its own stylistic path and is all the better for it. I think it is the best looking even-numbered X model out of BMW’s entire roster - it looks way better in person than either of the two larger models.
It also drives very well too, more like a well-sorted hatchback than a high-riding crossover. Efficiency is also strong, as is the feeling of interior quality and, well, that it’s a bit special. When I drove my first X2 I didn’t have high expectations knowing that it is based on front-wheel drive underpinnings, but realistically it’s excellent to drive when you opt for xDrive all-wheel drive.
It is a tad smaller than the coupe version of the Lynk & Co 01, but it’s probably a closer rival to it in terms of price, despite the fact that the 01 coupe is a bit larger, between an X2 and X4.
Read our full review on the 2018 BMW X2
Lynk & Co clearly wants to make a splash in Europe where the popularity of high-riding vehicles with dramatic rooflines is exceedingly high. The plan its to sell all their vehicles in Europe as well as America already specced to a high degree, with not many extras to choose from and only electric or electrified powertrains.
This will set the 01 and 01 coupe apart from some potential rivals, but at the same time the lack of a diesel engine will still damage sales in Europe a bit and the fact that no non-electrified model will be available outside China may do too.
But if it will look good enough from the outside, feel premium inside (and constantly remind you of a Volvo without actually being a Volvo) and offer decent fuel returns, it could win over buyers fairly quickly.
Read our full review on the 2017 Lynk & Co 01.
Read our full review on the 2018 Lynk & Co 02.
Read more about the 2018 Lynk & Co 03.
Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Lynk & Co 04.