2022 Lynk & Co 01

2022 Lynk & Co 01

Buying? That’s so 2020… But renting an 01 PHEV from Lynk & Co could make a lot of sense.

New brand, new business model: the Lynk & Co 01 is a plug-in hybrid sharing some of its hardware with the Volvo XC40, and it will be offered at an all-inclusive flat rate when it comes to the UK in 2022. Sharing is expressively encouraged. Like Volvo, Lotus and a small portion of Daimler, Lynk & Co belongs to Geely. Within that Chinese-owned network, Lynk is positioned as a cool non-conformist brand for young urbanites and hip digitalos.

Although it is possible to buy the Lynk 01 for €42,000 (that’s €5k below the Volvo XC40 T5 Recharge), 90% of buyers are opting for the open-ended fixed-price rental rate of €500 per month. This fee includes tax and insurance, maintenance and repair work, tyres and 780 free miles. You can even sub-let it.

The Lynk & Co 01 is a mature, well-equipped transport appliance – nice design, solid build, decent performance. But it’s the lifestyle aspect that sets the newcomer apart. As a member of the Lynk & Co community, the user has free access to exclusive clubs in Amsterdam and Gothenburg, soon also in Berlin and Hamburg. The multi-functional smartphone app works as your membership ID, ignition key, networking tool, pick-up and delivery service provider, sharing device and credit card.

To find an available vehicle or to put your own car temporarily on the market, simply hit the share icon and get in touch with the owner or a prospective user. In a couple of years, when a five-figure fleet will be installed across Europe, this concept may actually work. But when I tried to locate an available 01 close to Berlin, the sole response came from Uddevalla in Sweden. Right now, there are slicker ways to get a ride.

The colour choice is black or blue. There are no extras. The high standard specification includes an in-built, wide-angle camera programmed to point out POIs, a Go-Pro-type dashcam good enough for YouTube travel videos, and a third in-cab photographic device dedicated to taking selfies of the driver and the front-seat passenger. Trimmed with fabric made from recycled fishing nets, the front seats are too small to be really comfortable, but – thanks to Geely extending the wheelbase over the XC40 by 100mm – rear legroom abounds, and the full-length glass sunroof is a treat.

The battery is 50 per cent bigger than the Volvo equivalent and can give a useful smog-free range of 43 miles. Furthermore, the Geely will hit 130mph whereas the XC40 is limited to 112mph. Briefly spinning its front wheels, the five-seater can accelerate in eight seconds flat from zero to 62mph. That’s okay but not brilliant in view of the 258bhp power output mustered by the 1.5-litre three-cylinder and the e-motor.

Taken purely on its merits as a car, there’s not much to make the 01 stand out from the many other above-average compact crossovers. But then there are fresh ideas like the sharing opportunity to recoup a portion of the monthly fixed rate. Plus the no-hassle, no-notice-required return scheme with zero residual-value risk. And free access to what may, with a bit of luck, become a cool and connected community capable of rethinking on-demand mobility.

First verdict Decent design and performance, good ride, space and specification – and a bold experiment in moving beyond ownership 4/5

There’s little here to make the 01 stand out from the many other above-average compact crossovers.Longer wheelbase brings more rear legroom than Volvo XC40 without ruining the looks. Very Volvo-ish. Lots of standard kit, no options.

1 minute Looks smart head-on…

2 minutes ...but generic from behind

11 minutes Feels like a Volvo on the road. Except for the better ride

22 minutes Loves to swim with the shoal. Deserves a little leniency when venturing into dynamic terrain 33 minutes Ergonomically, a reasonable mix of buttons and advanced screenwork

44 minutes Not love, but affection – increasingly so as the miles build

PLUS + Nothing wrong with the product; intriguingly different business model

MINUS — Derivative middle-of- the-road vehicle with no EV option for now


PRICE £36,000 or £430 per month (est)

POWERTRAIN 14.1kWh battery, 1477cc 12v turbo three-cyl plus e-motor, seven-speed auto, front-wheel drive


MAX POWER 258bhp @ 5500 rpm

MAX TORQUE 314lb ft @ 1500rpm

8.0sec 0-62mph,

MAX SPEED 130mph

WEIGHT 1879kg

ON SALE 2022

EFFICIENCY 235mpg, 43-mile electric range, 27g/km CO2

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