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Future models - Lynk & Co - 02

Lynk & Co unveil 02 SUV

Lynk’s awakening: Lynk & Co’s just-revealed 02 small crossover could be the brand’s most popular model following the release of the 01 SUV and 03 sedan.

Volvo XC40-based compact SUV joins 01 mid-sizer in spearheading global rollout

27 Mar 2018

GEELY-owned Lynk & Co has revealed its third and possibly most important model to date in Amsterdam this week, the 02 compact SUV.

To be built at the company’s Ghent facility in Belgium sometime from next year alongside the just-released and closely related Volvo XC40 (among other models), the Audi Q2-sized crossover is central to the Chinese brand’s ambitions in gaining a foothold in Europe as well as other key markets around the world.

While no plans for Australia have yet to be divulged, Volvo Car Australia PR and corporate director Greg Bosnich told GoAuto discussions are currently under way.

“There’s been no further direction on when the brand will head to Australia at this time,” he said. “It’s too early to say… but we’re interested in anything that becomes available to us.” Employing the XC40’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) that also underpins the bigger and more family-orientated 01 SUV and 03 sedan models released in China last year, the 02 shares no visible sheetmetal or body parts with its Swedish counterpart.

In a clear move to lure European consumers and establish Lynk & Co as a progressive car-maker, it will initially be offered in hybrid-only electrified form, based around Volvo’s 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission powertrain combination. A full-electric version is also thought to be in the pipeline for a 2020 release.

Despite the eco focus, the 02 will be sportier and more youth-orientated than its larger siblings, which are tailored more towards Chinese consumer preferences. Among the differences are firmer suspension settings for greater dynamic response.

The newcomer also debuts a unique take on trim level differentiation called ‘personas’, aimed at broadening its appeal across a variety of consumer tastes.

According to Lynk & Co head of design Andreas Nilsson, the 02’s job is to establish the brand as a serious global player on merit, not price.

“Sporty, adventurous, dynamic, daring, confident and fun, the 02 sits at the absolute centre of our brand,” he said in a statement. “A shorter wheelbase, lower ride height and centre of gravity – combined with two-tone colour-schemes and softer, voluptuous surfaces, muscular haunches and wheelarches – give 02 a solid and confident stance while being agile and sporty in character.”

The 02 will also be positioned further upmarket than Geely, though not at the same level as Volvo. Like the latter, Lynk & Co’s global headquarters are based in Sweden.

Launched by Geely owner Zhejiang Geely Holding in 2015, Lynk & Co has been forging closer links with Volvo Car (which Geely also owns). Acquiring a 30 per cent stake in the new brand last year, the CMA component-sharing and production synergies provides substantial economies of scale for the sister brands.

“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,” said Volvo Cars president and CEO Hakan Samuelsson.

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