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.

> Shanghai motor show 2017 - preview, dates and latest news

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.

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