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Future models - Lynk & Co - 01

Lynk & Co reveals ‘Airbnb of cars’

Connected to server: The Lynk & Co 01 can be rented out to other users when the owner/lessee is not using it.

Geely-owned Lynk & Co uncovers its first model ahead of China, Europe launch

21 Oct 2016

THE first offering from new Geely-owned brand Lynk & Co has been uncovered after a lengthy teaser campaign, with the compact SUV – dubbed 01 – charged with changing how people use their cars.

Taking advantage of the emerging sharing economy that has seen companies such as Airbnb and Uber grow into massive companies and transform the way people commute or use accommodation, Lynk & Co says it wanted to “create the smartest driving platform the world has ever seen”.

Lynk & Co has developed a car that offers consumers the choice of buying, leasing or just borrowing an 01, depending on their needs, tapping into the growing car-sharing market which appeals to people that do not want to own a car.

Owners of the 01 can share their car with other users, via an app, or ‘digital key’, renting it out to people when it is not in use at certain times of the day – for example when you are at work – or if you are on holidays.

This can be done via the share button on the app, with users selecting the times they are happy for their vehicle to be used by others. The user can check the profile of people wanting to borrow their car and if they are happy for them to use it, hit the Go Ahead button to allow them access.

This approach is highlighted on the brand’s website, where it says: “Think Airbnb. For Cars.”

The company says users can even arrange deliveries such as dry cleaning or shopping to be dropped to the car.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed but reports have suggested that it will be the same price for the vehicle in each market it is sold.

The brand will forego a traditional dealer network and instead sell the car solely online.

Vehicles will be delivered as well as picked up and dropped off for servicing by the company at no cost to the owner/lessee, while a replacement car will be provided during servicing.

Inside the modern cabin, the 01 will be offered with a 10-inch touchscreen that dominates the centre stack, as well as a fully digital dashboard and voice controls.

A Concierge button helps the user perform a number of tasks such as book a table for dinner, get information on a journey or to look something up online.

Other useful tech features include semi-automatic parking, wireless charging, a power tailgate, a panoramic sunroof and daytime running lights, as well as an air-quality system that detects pollution and shuts the vents accordingly.

Onboard telematics were developed in partnership with Ericsson and include the Lynk & Co cloud, as well as Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink, and Android Auto.

Specific details on the powertrain choices are being kept under wraps for now, but Lynk & Co says it will be powered by the “next generation conventional, hybrid or electric engine”.

A version of the plug-in hybrid system Volvo is producing for its next-generation 40-series models – with which the 01 shares its Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform – is likely to be one of the powertrains.

Safety wise, it will be offered with blind-spot detection, autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning and adaptive cruise with a traffic jam pilot.

Eventually, the 01 will also be offered with a bike that fits in the car but that is yet to be seen.

The exterior design – penned by veteran Volvo designer Peter Horbury – is a mix of the Citroen C4 Cactus, Kia Sportage and Honda HR-V.

An Australian launch is yet to be announced, but as GoAuto has previously reported, right-hand-drive production has been planned from the outset and there is a chance of a local arrival following the initial Chinese and European debut in 2018.

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