Plug-in hybrid SUV
It is difficult to stick a national flag on Lynk & Co, a brand created in 2016. His family is Chinese, its headquarters are in Sweden and the paternity of his business concept goes to Alain Visseur, a Belgian who has a long career in the upper echelons of Volvo. Let’s say this is the first stateless mark. But hey, the Chinese anchoring remains dominant all the same, since the Lynk & Co models have already been making a career since 2017 in the Middle Kingdom, where they are also built, also awaiting a probable production in the Volvo factory in Ghent. , in Belgium.
After its local market, it is therefore Europe that Lynk & Co is now attacking. And the manufacturer does not intend to import only vehicles, but also a commercial model that goes a little further than that of Tesla. Indeed, like the brand of Elon Musk, the sale only goes through the internet, since the few “Clubs” (we will come back to this) which flourish here and there are not concessions strictly speaking. And in fact, even selling is a term to be taken in retrospect. Because what Lynk & Co offers is a subscription car, without obligation. In short: you pay 500 € per month, all inclusive, to have the car at your entire disposal. You are thus a member of the Club, which also gives you access to the Lynk & Co mobile app, through which you can make the car available to your family, friends or other members when you do not need it. . Provision for a fee of course, at the rate you decide, which allows you to recover part of the monthly subscription … or even to make a small profit. The formula no longer suits you? You terminate it at any time, since there is no obligation to commit for a defined period.
When the formula was launched in Europe last January, Lynk & Co was planning on 9,000 subscriptions per year. Last May, more than 15,000 people had already expressed their interest. Not all will confirm, of course, but it does prove that the idea does indeed have its followers. And that is to be expected, when carsharing is on the rise. However, it would be a bit silly for a manufacturer to deliberately limit its potential by addressing only a very specific clientele, who do not want to own their vehicle. The Lynk & Co 01 is therefore also offered for purchase, at a fixed price of € 41,500. And for us, this is where the story gets interesting …
Because at that price, what do we buy? The Lynk & Co 01 is a plug-in hybrid family SUV 4.54 meters long, the category of the Peugeot 3008, to quote a cador of the genre. It receives a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a 3-cylinder 1.5-liter 180hp petrol unit, and an 81-horsepower electric motor. The system therefore delivers a total of 261 hp, as well as 425 Nm, including 160 just for the electrical part, sent to the front axle via a 7-speed automatic gearbox. All this is powered by 17.6 kWh batteries which promise an average range of 69 km, or even 81 in strictly urban driving. Maximum recharging time on a single household socket: 5 hours. As for the technical sheet, it is therefore already serious.
And we will think what we want with design, but it is anything but ordinary. It is well proportioned, athletic, and the aesthetic work of the front and rear sections gives it a good dose of character. In any case, judging by the reactions of onlookers facing this unknown machine, he calls out. Which is much better than leaving ice, you will agree!
Inside, it’s not bad either. We first discover very pretty seats with a sporty design and neat upholstery, comfortable, offering excellent support.
There is space either in the rear seats or in the trunk.
The rear seats can accommodate three real adults and in the trunk, at least 466 liters of luggage will take place. A value in the good category average.
The dashboard is also rather well designed and what we mainly appreciate is that it does not play the card of technological demonstration. There is of course a 12.3 ” digital instrument cluster in front of you, as well as a 12.7 ” touchscreen in the center, to control all the multimedia, connectivity and vehicle settings functions. But everything is remarkably sober and creates an opulent atmosphere of good taste. Impression also reinforced by a quality of finish to which we have nothing to reproach. In short, the more you get to know this handsome stranger, the more you are charmed.
And the more you observe it, the more you notice the little things clearly coming from the Volvo shelves. The gearbox control, the steering wheel buttons, the windshield wipers and indicators… There, you begin to understand the title of this test. But these small similarities ultimately make it even more surprising that the Lynk & Co infotainment system is strictly its own. While the systems are virtually all the same from one PSA model to another, or in every model of every brand of the VW Group, that of the Lynk has absolutely nothing to do with that of Volvo. And this is good news, the latter being in our opinion particularly confused. Not that the “Lynk” is an absolute model of intuitiveness, but it is in any case much more logical in its conception.