Lynk & Co 01 hybrid SUV revealed for European market
The Lynk & Co 01 has been on sale in China for a little while, but it’s now coming to Europe as the brand’s first model
- Hybrid SUV – plug-in or self charging option
- No trim options and just two colours offered
- Subscription plan offered – €500 a month
- Rent out your car to reduce monthly costs
This is the Lynk & Co 01 – it’s a hybrid SUV from the Chinese brand that’s finally coming to Europe and the UK. It’s not a totally new model, as Chinese buyers have been able to buy one since 2017, but it’s the first Lynk & Co model that we’ll get our hands on here, and it will be available through a new ride-sharing scheme alongside traditional purchase options.
The Lynk & Co 01 is only available as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or normal hybrid, and all versions are based on the same technology used in the Volvo XC40. That means the plug-in has a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor, with a range of 43 miles on a single charge before you have to use the petrol engine.
It’s a distinctive-looking SUV with a wide grille at the front, headlights perched at the corners of the bonnet and a similarly bold light pattern at the rear. The model show in the press pictures also features unusual alloy wheels with just two out of five spokes in blue.
There will be no trim levels with the Lynk & Co 01, though – the only choice will be which engine to go for and what colour paint you’d like. Standard equipment will include a large central touchscreen, sat-nav, a ‘social media camera’, and over-the-air updates for the in-car tech.
The 01’s interior is made of recycled fishing lines, but pictures show that it’s not lacking sophistication. The centre console uses an attractive-looking material and the dash has a long, wide vent above the touchscreen. There’s also a digital dial display and extensive steering wheel controls for all the car’s functions.
What’s most notable about the Lynk & Co 01 is the way that you will be able to ‘own’ one. The company says normal purchase methods will be available, but also that it expects many buyers to use its subscription service.
Here’s how it works: you pay a monthly fee (it’ll be €500 in Europe, about £456) for the car, which includes car insurance and maintenance. However, you won’t own the car, and instead sign up to a sharing scheme which means you can opt to pay less if you let other users of the scheme borrow ‘your’ car.
Some users won’t pay a monthly fee at all – they will simply sign up for the service and pay only for the time that they use the car for. It’s a strange one for UK car buyers to get their head around but just think of it as a long-term rental car. Lynk & Co will say it’s more like a Netflix or Spotify model for your car.
It’s not clear when the Lynk & Co 01 will launch in the UK yet, but the sharing scheme will be available in The Netherlands this autumn and in Sweden before 2021, so we expect the car to arrive in the UK in 2021.
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