Lynk & Co are proving that they do things differently in China.
It’s hard to say whether Lynk & Co are trendsetters or just really good at staying ahead of the curve. The Chinese brand owned by Geely is very much focused on selling cars, but not in the way you’d expect.
First of all, they don’t sell via a network of dealerships as we’ve all come to expect from carmakers. Instead, they sell direct to the consumer via their website, which although very fancy and well designed, really doesn’t provide enough information to buy a car without actually sitting in it.
And yet that’s what exactly what Lynk & Co expects people to do. It’s a direct-to-consumer sales model that Tesla has had some success with, but the difference is that Tesla was selling electric luxury cars when nobody else was. So, if you were a young professional in Silicon Valley who could afford such a car, you didn’t have much choice in the matter.
Thus we come to the confusingly named 02 crossover from Lynk & Co. The name is confusing since it’s actually the third car to be offered by the manufacturer, with the second car being the 03 sedan. See? Confusing.
The 02 seems to be a successor to the 01 crossover that Lynk & Co has been selling in China for a little while now. Their two-page press release uses a lot of hyperbole like "sporty in character" and "muscular haunches", but provides very few details. We don’t even know what’s under the hood.
Much like purchasing their cars, writing about them must be done with only a few snapshots to go on.
What we see is a crossover much like any other crossover. It presumably has an engine, although it could be a hybrid, and it also likely comes with a lot of high-tech safety features since the company’s marketing positions itself as high-tech and because they’re being sold in Europe where legislation requires things like emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance.
On the inside, it has a bunch of LCDs to replace the knobs and dials from an older generation car, and it certainly looks sublime.
We know the 02 will be built in Volvo’s Belgium factory (Volvo being owned by Geely now), and we know that it’ll be built on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture just as the XC40.
But the 01 was the sister car to the XC40, so it would seem backward for the 02, successor to the 01, to have the same powertrain as the 01. But who knows? Lynk & Co are doing things a bit differently than the rest of us.
Oh right, and they’re also making a fashion line to go along with the car. Bizarre.