A radical car firm that aims to sell its vehicles like smartphones on wheels took the wraps off its third new car this week as it announced plans to sell them in the UK in boutique shops and online.
Swedish-based Lynk & Co unveiled the third car in its range – the compact crossover 02 – as it announced production would take place in Ghent, Belgium from next year alongside existing Volvo models.
The firm – which with its sister brand Volvo is owned by Chinese car giant Geely – aims to be a ‘disruptor’ in the traditional car market with new ways of selling and sharing its cars.
Smartphone on wheels: This is the new Lynk & Co 02 SUV that will go into production next year
The new 02 small crossover features a shorter wheelbase, lower ride height and centre of gravity, a two-tone colour-schemes, softer and voluptuous surfaces, muscular haunches and wheel-arches.
In our eyes, from the front at least, it does share quite the resemblance to the forthcoming £158,000 Lamborghini Urus.
The aim is to give the 02 a solid and confident stance that is also agile and sporty.
It joins a line up which already includes the larger 01 SUV, which will be the first vehicle off the line from next year, and a saloon called 03.
All will feature green hybrid petrol-electric powertrains.
Geely also owns Britain’s London Electric Vehicle Company LEVC at Ansty near Coventry, into which it has invested more than £300m to produce electric Black Cabs and commercial vans, and recently took a major stake in legendary British sports car-maker Lotus.
Although many of the cars will be sold online, the firm announced that it is to open its first offline boutique retail store in Amsterdam – where the launch took place – followed soon after by more in London, Barcelona, Berlin and Brussels.
Lynk & Co said: ‘These ‘Offline Stores’ will be located in central fashion districts as easy-to-navigate, sociable and fun brand boutiques.’
The car will be sold online like smartphones, though Lynk & Co will have stores in Europe and some pop-up dealerships
The 02 is designed to take on premium small SUVs like the Audi Q2, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Range Rover Evoque and Volvo XC40
The car firm will offer customers a mobile-phone style pay as you go payment plan that also allows for car-sharing
They will be supported by the online store at Lynkco.com which will be the hub of its business.
The firm also plans a series of pop-up stores that will move around other UK and European cities every week.
The car firm will offer customers a mobile-phone style pay as you go payment plan that also allows for car-sharing.
Drivers will be able to sign up using the sort of monthly pay-as-you-go payment plans already familiar to millions of mobile phones users.
And instead of myriad trim levels customers will be offered a series of one-price collections.
The styling certainly isn’t subtle, with two-tone paint options that even have different insert tones for the wheels
On looks alone, the Lynk & Co 02 is a handsome car, with coupe-like features and squared-off wheel arches
Some of the design, most notably the bonnet, grille and front bumper of the Lynk & Co 02 are are very Lamborghini Urus-like (pictured)
Speaking at the launch this week, Lynk & Co Senior Vice President, Alain Visser, said: ‘From our headquarters in Sweden, we will roll-out sales with an initial focus on key European cities for our target audience of globally connected urbanites.
‘We will manufacture in Europe, for Europe, focusing initially on hybrid-only electrified derivatives of our new range of cars – further expanded today with the youthful 02.’
He added: ‘Sales started in China late last year, and we quickly established Lynk & Co as a very hot property in cities from Beijing to Shanghai.
‘We intend to make a similar impact in our home European cities with Lynk & Co’s innovative approach to buying, using and owning personal mobility.’
All models will be electrified with green petrol-hybrid powerplants
Customers will find a range of connected technologies on offer in the vehicles that will be more advanced than most mainstream rivals
Describing its cars as ‘smartphones on wheels’, an official Lynk & Co statement said: ’All models come with a large central touchscreen and advanced telematics systems – always connected to the internet and the car’s own cloud.‘
A spokesman for the firm continued: ‘Lynk & Co is the world’s first new mobility brand, dedicated to offering unparalleled in-car connectivity, vehicle sharing, online sales, and a subscription model of usership.
‘We have abandoned the traditional automotive concept of base models, entry points and endless options lists.
‘Inspired by the worlds of fashion and technology, trim levels and optional extras are replaced with a simple selection of fully equipped, one price collections.
‘At the core of the Lynk & Co brand is connectivity. Customers will find a range of connected technologies on offer in the vehicles, from a sharing function with the world’s first in-car share button to wireless charging and a dedicated Lynk & Co app store – all aimed at making life easier on the move.’
Lynk & Co cars will be built in Ghent, Belgium and Volvo’s existing factory that already produces the XC40, S60 and V60
Lynk & Co owner Geely also owns Britain’s London Electric Vehicle Company, into which it has invested more than £300m to produce electric Black Cabs in Ansty, Coventry, and recently took a major stake in legendary British sports car-maker Lotus
Lynk & Co head of design, Andreas Nilsson, said the 02 will be ‘sporty, adventurous, dynamic, daring, confident and fun’
Lynk & Co also announced a fashion and home-wear range called The City Dweller Series as part of a new design partnership with online retailer Tictail.
Lynk & Co head of design, Andreas Nilsson, said the new 02 will sit at ‘the absolute centre of our brand’ and will be ‘sporty, adventurous, dynamic, daring, confident and fun, noting that ‘02 is a really remarkable looker in our line-up’.
Volvo’s Ghent plant currently builds the award-winning XC40 compact SUV, recently judged European Car of the Year 2018 at the Geneva motor Show.
It also builds Volvo’s V40 and V40 Cross Country hatchbacks as well as the S60 saloon, and will soon start producing the all-new V60 five-door, mid-size estate.
Volvo said the announcement represents a closer collaboration between the two companies, after Volvo Cars’ acquired a 30 per cent stake in Lynk & Co last year.
Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars said: ’We see a big potential for this new brand entering the European market and we are happy to give Lynk & Co the support of Volvo’s technological and industrial expertise.’
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