The Lynk & Co global brand created by China-based Geely Automobile is set to launch its first vehicle here in the U.S. sometime in 2018. Geely, which is also parent company of Volvo Cars, unveiled the initial Lynk & Co offering last week in Berlin. Based on the same Volvo Compact Modular Architecture than will underpin the upcoming XC40 crossover SUV, the upscale 01 has been developed “to address the needs and preferences of the new global and connected generation of consumers.”

Styled at Geely Design Sweden, the look of the Lynk & Co 01 was crafted by Peter Horbury, formerly of Volvo and now Executive Vice President of Design for Geely Auto Group, with supplemental input from studios in Shanghai, Barcelona and Los Angeles. The clean, contemporary appearance of the 01 and all subsequent Lynk & Co models will be complemented by a bounty of comfort/convenience/safety technology including constant connectivity, upgradability via a dedicated cloud system and an app platform open to third-party developers. 

The Volvo connection

Volvo’s large, multifunction center touchscreen also is part of the mix. Developed to meet or exceed all global crash requirements, the Lynk & Co 01 boasts numerous active/passive driver assists highlighted by Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Brake, Pedestrian Detection with automatic emergency braking, Adaptive Cruise Control Blind Spot Detection and Lane Departure Warning. 

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Lynk & Co promises the 01 will offer a wide range of highly-efficient powertrain choices based on Volvo’s 3-cylinder/4-cylinder turbocharged Drive-E engines. Working alone or in concert with electric hybrid assist, they’ll be paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Models with full EV power are expected later.

Innovative marketing 

Lynk & Co also announced innovative marketing of its vehicles, which will come as well-equipped models that can be upfitted with special fixed-price “collections” intended to better meet unique preferences. Another new wrinkle: The automaker plans to shake up the conventional automotive marketing model by interacting directly with customers and it intends to sell vehicles online or through a company-owned network of stores using fixed prices. Vehicles will be delivered and picked up for servicing by existing Volvo dealers at the owner’s home or place of business. Finally, Lynk & Co seeks to introduce creative purchase/lease alternatives like subscription and sharing-membership that will further leverage what it feels is a compelling value proposition. It remains to be seen how all – or any -- of this will play out in light of existing U.S. franchise laws. Rollout of the Lynk & Co 01 will start in California shortly after its China debut in late 2017.

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