Lynk & Co 03 Concept - Sporty Chinese saloon makes Shanghai debut
Latest saloon shows new Chinese brand's direction - but technology will be the biggest attraction
Chinese firm Lynk & Co, a subsidiary of Geely, has revealed its latest concept car at a preview event ahead of the 2017 Shanghai motor show.
The new concept is called the Lynk & Co 03, and takes the form of a sport saloon. But while the car points to Lynk & Co's design direction inside and out, it's the car's underpinnings and technology that could be of greatest interest.
It's expected to share the same platform as the production Lynk & Co 01, a crossover also being shown in Shanghai. The 01 sits on the company's Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, which will also underpin the upcoming Volvo XC40 crossover.
That model is likely to spawn V40 hatchback and S40 saloon variants, so what we're looking at here could give us a preview of what to expect from Volvo's next volume models.
They'll differ in terms of styling, of course. Like the 01, the 03 Concept features high-mounted headlights that sit above two horizontal air intakes, while at the rear there's a pair of distinctive LED tail lights, a diffuser element with twin exhaust outlets, and a subtle lip spoiler integrated into the boot lid.
The concept rides on large alloy wheels and low-profile tyres, but no specific details have been revealed as yet. The overall effect is perhaps a little generic, a little play-it-safe, but that's to be expected from a brand that will carry the new name to global markets - the 01 will be sold worldwide.
More unusual is Lynk & Co's sales and use process. All its models will be sold at a fixed price, and sold online. While that takes haggling out of the equation, it also eliminates the dealership process that a great many consumers really don't enjoy. Options will also be conspicuous by their absence, so all Lynk & Co cars will feature all equipment as standard.
Taking things even further, and launched alongside the Concept and production 01 in Shanghai, is a new app-based sharing service. This will let owners share their car, via smartphone apps, with friends and family. Your smartphone takes the place of a conventional key, making it easy to allow others to use the car, even if you're in another country.
The concept isn't entirely new - evo spoke to SEAT last year about a very similar "digital key" system - but Lynk & Co would be one of the first to implement it on production vehicles. The company also sees some customers using a subscription model to drive their cars on occasion, rather than buying a car outright.
Further details on the 01, 03 Concept and sharing app will be revealed at the Shanghai motor show.