The Lynk & Co 01 is a very particular car, not so much for its technical characteristics but for the way it can be purchased and used. In addition to the classic purchase, there is the on-demand subscription formula which is an absolute first in the automotive world. Since there are and will not be dealerships, but only clubs dedicated to the community and events, you sign up for free on the Lynk & Co platform and then decide whether to pay the monthly fee. It’s 500 euros (without advance), both for the full hybrid engine and for the plug-in hybrid, there are no restrictions and the subscription can be canceled at any time, just as happens with many streaming services. This is why when Lynk & Co announced its arrival in Europe it was immediately renamed as the Netflix of cars. Furthermore, with registration, you can also rent other people’s cars for short periods, who establish the time and price. The parent company does not earn anything, while the subscriber can save on the monthly fee.
The idea is to take advantage of the 96% of the time in which, on average, all cars in the world remain parked rather than being used. An innovative concept, which Lynk & Co brings to the market for the first time. The brand is owned by the Geely Group – which also owns Volvo – it was founded in 2016 and in addition to the main office in China it has another one in Sweden. The only car currently sold in Europe is the 01 which shares the mechanical base with the Volvo XC 40. The choice of engine is one of two possible: the other concerns the body color which can be black or blue, while the list of the options it only includes the tow hook. The installment includes 1,250 km which, however, are counted at the end of the rental; therefore if one month is missed, the next one can be recovered, otherwise you pay 15 cents more for each kilometre. For our test we chose the Lynk & Co 01 plug-in hybrid, whose powertrain has 261 horsepower and 425 Nm.
These numbers are the non-mathematical sum of the 180 HP and 265 Nm of the 1.5 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine and the 82 HP and 160 Nm of the electric motor. It takes 8 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h and the top speed is 210 km/h. After all, the 01 is close to 19 quintals which is not a small amount for a 4.54-metre crossover but is in line with those of its competitors. The electric range is 70 km, which becomes 80 in the city, thanks to the 17.6 kWh lithium-ion battery, 14 of which effective. As for consumption, the same applies to plug-ins, those declared are measured when the battery is charged and for this reason they are very modest. To evaluate the real ones, especially with discharged accumulators, a time and a variety of paths are needed that we did not have available on this occasion. In any case, the feeling is that 10 km per liter are within reach, perhaps with a certain amount of attention, especially in the city. At the wheel, the 01 amazes with its overall comfort and the excellent behavior of the suspension.
The driver’s seat is very well designed from an ergonomic point of view and the adjustments of the electric seat are precise, including those of the lumbar support. Absorption of urban bumps is excellent, despite the 20-inch rims. The interior is very well assembled, free from various creaks and noises (a feature that is not at all obvious even on new cars) and the choice of materials and upholstery takes the 01 in a premium direction. Then there are the spectacular solutions, with the two large displays that steal the show, especially the 12.7-inch infotainment one. The latter is state of the art in terms of functions but not in terms of fluidity, which can still be improved. There is no shortage of gadgets such as the double camera for external selfies and internal photos, or the direct line with the engineers stationed in Gothenburg to share criticisms and suggestions.
Lynk & Co 01 the card
What is that: the first car of the Lynk & Co brand sold in Europe, a C-segment crossover with plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Dimensions: length 4.54 meters, width 1.86 m height 1.69 m, wheelbase 2.73 m
Trunk: 466 litres
Motor: 1.4-cylinder turbo petrol + electric motor, total power 261 HP
Exchange: 7-speed dual clutch automatic
Merits: driving position, comfort, finishes, technology on board
Defects: Infotainment not smooth, gear lever logic
Production: Luqiao, Zhejiang, China
Prices: The list prices of the Lynk & Co 01 are 35,000 euros for the full hybrid version and 40,700 euros for the plug-in hybrid