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October 22, 2016

This New SUV Uses Volvo's New Platform (And It's Not Branded a Volvo)

You’re looking at the first application of Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA). Oddly enough, it’s not underpinning a Volvo 60-series or XC40; it’s underpinning this new SUV from a brand-new carmaker: Lynk & Co.

A new brand under the Chinese brand, Geely, Lynk & Co. is aimed towards younger buyers who value connectivity above everything else. The brand’s first offering, the “01” is a compact crossover that’s about the same size as a Honda CR-V. It looks tidy overall, although there are heavy influences from the Nissan Juke, Kia Sportage, and what have you in there.

Inside, it’s clearly influenced by Volvo with a SENSUS-like interface with the large center touchscreen. Even the switchgear look like they were nicked straight from the Volvo parts bin from the steering wheel, stalks, switches, and even the gear lever.

Also thanks to Volvo, the Lynk & Co. 01 is powered by either a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder or 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, both of which are mated to a dual-clutch automatic. Power is routed through either the front or all wheels. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology will be available on all powertrain combinations as well.

Lynk & Co. will use an open digital platform developed by Microsoft and Alibaba so third-party developers can create apps. The open application platform also allows for vehicle-to-vehicle communication to share data with one another.

As a new carmaker, Lynk & Co. is approaching retail different from other carmakers. There won’t be traditional dealerships. Instead, majority of sales will done online and some will be done through factory-owned stores. In addition, they are promoting “sharability” where the car can be rented out using a digital key for a specific amount of time.

Lynk & Co. will first launch in China next year followed by Europe in 2018 and then the US. No plans have been announced for markets such as the Philippines.

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