Studies* have shown that most cars today are just standing still and unused on average 96 percent of the time. Lynk & Co believes that this can be done differently and better (so can we) and therefore does not focus on car sales but rather on car use. The car brand is part of Geely – the Chinese car conglomerate that also includes Volvo, Polestar and Lotus – and is now revealing itself as the Spotify of the car sector. You can rent or buy the very first car of the brand, the ’01’, via a subscription formula. We already found out how it drives.
By Anja Van Der Borght
With a subscription of 500 Euros per month, you get access to your own Lynk & Co 01, which you can also easily share with family, friends, neighbors and the Lynk & Co community via the sharing platform. Those who share a lot can even earn back their monthly costs. For that amount of 500 Euros you can drive 1,250 km per month. If you exceed that distance, you pay an extra 50 euro cents per kilometer. If you drive less, these kilometers will be transferred to the following month. In addition, unlike many other service providers, the subscription can be canceled each month, which is a real plus!
You can borrow the car via a Digital key app on your smartphone. Only the owner of the Lynk & Co 01 posesses a physical car key, for the simple reason that in addition to a membership, it is also possible for you to purchase the Lynk & Co 01 yourself.
For the regular hybrid you pay 36,000 €, the plug-in hybrid costs 42,000 €, VAT included. For this price you get a lot of standard equipment in both models which are optional with many other brands. Just think of an electric panoramic roof (great on dark rainy days), heated front seats and a cooled glove box, multicolor mood lighting, … But also an extensive package of safety systems and driving assistance systems including parking aid, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Aid and Adaptive Cruise Control with queue assist (radar+camera).
To appeal to the younger connected crowd, the Lynk & Co 01 also received many fun features such as a journey cam (with selfie camera and recordable dashcam), an inbox for messages and a ‘Collab’ function via the touchscreen that allows you to send an idea directly to Lynk & Co via voice memo in any language in the world. Let your creativity run wild! However, the disadvantage of the extensive standard equipment is that there are no other options for personalization besides a tow bar. But it does make life a lot easier. All you have to do is choose between the – only two available exterior colors – blue and black.
The Lynk & Co 01 is available as a regular hybrid, but we drove here for you the plug-in hybrid. In terms of looks, we think the SUV most resembles a Porsche Cayenne with blue details, so typical for electric cars. For example, a striking light blue line follows the roof pillar and two of the spokes of the rims are blue. Original and fun when the car is stationary. Dynamic and fascinating when the 01 drives.
Inside we find chic chrome-look finishes, velvety soft inserts and quality soft plastics interspersed with a hard panel here and there. The original and pleasant interior of the Lynk & Co 01 is not exactly one that you associate with Chinese manufacture. Lynk & Co – although part of the Chinese Geely to which Volvo also belongs – rather waves the Swedish flag. Even the chassis was borrowed from the Volvo XC40. Furthermore, the interior is particularly spacious for the passengers in the front as well as in the rear seat and the trunk is more than adequate. (466 liters). The Lynk & Co 01 is therefore ten centimeters longer than the Volvo (4.54 m.) Nothing in this car feels Chinese unless you forgot a bowl of Chinese takeout.
Our driving experience…
We sit very comfortably on the seats covered with Econyl® (made from, among other things, plastic fishing nets and other waste). After we have electrically moved our seat into the correct position and placed the steering wheel with a lever in the correct height, we start the front-wheel drive SUV with the push of a button. Of the three driving modes: Pure, Hybrid and Power, we first try the Pure mode, which starts the car purely electrically (during 69 km). In Hybrid mode, a balance is sought between the two powertrains and in Power – the sport mode – both work together for maximum performance. The 100-spurt takes 8 seconds and the top speed is 210 km/h. Neither in the Hybrid nor in the Power mode do we feel we lack power, although we do appreciate the sportier character, the tighter handling and the sports sound generated by the speakers in Power mode. The automatic 7-speed gearbox shifts flawlessly. The 01 gives alert steering feedback, drives well, has good road holding and is remarkably quiet.
Furthermore, the 01 has a nice big screen (again not too big as in the Tesla or the Ford Mach-E) that is easy to operate. With the command “Hey Frank” you can give all kinds of voice commands such as “Hey Frank, please close the windows”, “Hey Frank, please turn on the air conditioning”, … We thought it was strange that Frank had a female voice and hopefully neither of your fellow passengers is called Frank, because that undoubtedly causes confusion and hilarity.
For those who want to know more? Lynk & Co opens clubs all over Europe. The one in Antwerp opende in August 2021.
TEST CAR Lynk & Co 01 Plug-in hybrid 1.5TD | 192 kW/180 hp (of which 60 kW from the electric motor), 7-speed automatic transmission | TEST CONSUMPTION 3.42 l/100 km | CO2 EMISSION 27 grams CO2/km | BUDGET starting price € 36,000, BTWi (for the regular hybrid) – test model price (without options) € 42,000, BTWi – BIV test model: € (Flanders) – road tax €
*from research by transport consultant Paul Barter