Youthful styling on a Volvo technological base make this plug-in hybrid SUV a strong contender with limited competition
It’s no secret that Lynk&Co will arrive in Europe within the next twelve months, but until now we’ve only experienced the drivetrains unique to the Chinese market.However, while still a Chinese-market version, the car before you, the 01 SUV, will be the model Lynk&Co sells in Europe. It’s a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) utilising a three-cylinder petrol engine developed in collaboration with Volvo.While partnerships between Volvo and its Chinese owners Geely have very much been the genesis of this brand, the Lynk&Co team got a clean sheet of paper with no ‘brand heritage’ hang-ups. The result has a distinctly European feel about it but is certainly not merely a cheaper Volvo. Although it shares the CMA platform with the Swedish brand’s XC40, it’s bigger and has a distinct feel.Entering Europe with a PHEV is one way to navigate the crowded competition. The Mitsubishi Outlander has carved a niche for itself in this way and Lynk&Co hopes to gain sales as countries such as the UK and France push consumers towards electrified offerings.Despite the Chinese-market 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol version of this SUV being four-wheel-drive, the PHEV is strictly front-wheel-drive. Combined power from the 1.5-litre turbo petrol unit and electric motor comes in at a respectable 257bhp and is controlled through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.