Currently reading: Volvo and Lynk&Co plug-in hybrid tech to launch in 2018
The compact drivetrain technology will initially allow for a full-electric range of 31 miles, moving to 50 miles in future

The compact plug-in hybrid system being developed by Volvo and its Chinese sister firm Lynk&Co will be good for an electric range of up to 50 miles.

The drivetrain is based around a three-cylinder petrol engine, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, battery pack and electric motor.

Guangzhou motor show 2017 report

It will launch initially in the second half of 2018 with a 31-mile range on the Volvo XC40 and Lynk&Co 01, but is quickly being developed to offer up to 50 miles, which would be far in excess of any other similarly sized car in the segment, present or future.

The Volvo and Lynk&Co models, compact SUVs developed in parallel on a new natively front-wheel-drive architecture called CMA, will also spawn full electric versions at the start of the next decade, with a range that could be as great as 373 miles (600km).

Other ranges under consideration are 249 miles (400km) and 311 miles (500km), with the firm set to pick one to launch with and then offer different versions as part of a range, similar to how Tesla sells its models. 

Product boss Yuebing Zhong confirmed Lynk&Co’s plans to Autocar at the Guangzhou motor show, including plans to launch electric cars across several key segments. 

The 02 and 03 models will launch next year (as non-electric models), both also built on the CMA platform, the 02 coming in the first half of the year and the 03 the second. The 02 is another crossover SUV that’s smaller than the 01, while the 03 is a saloon, albeit one with a crossover look that’s been previewed by a concept car.

The 01, 02 and 03 naming strategy is as simple as describing the order in which the models are launched. Zhong confirmed further models – so 04, 05, 05 and 07, for example – were under development, and by 2020 “there would be more than five or six cars”. Each will be a model will global appeal, ruling out the likes of a family hatchback to rival the Volkswagen Golf.

To that end, Lynk&Co will follow its launch in China with one in Germany in 2019, with other European markets and the United States set to follow. The UK is one of the markets under consideration, and right-hand drive is in the Lynk&Co plan, albeit with no firm date next to a launch. “It’s technically doable,” said Zhong. “We will do it, but we consider other markets first.”

European production could also be on the cards for Lynk&Co, which will initially make its models in China. 

Zhong said the models could be built alongside Volvo’s CMA cars in Volvo’s Ghent plant in Belgium. “We have the opportunity to build in Ghent, but it depends on the sales targets, the marketing needs and the production targets,” said Zhong. “If we decide to produce there, it’s doable.”


Read our review

Car review

Volvo’s XC40 arrives in the crowded premium compact SUV segment and hits the right note with design, practicality and driving style

Back to top

Lynk&Co confirmed a starting price of 180,000 RMB (£20,500) for the Lynk&Co 01 model, which goes on sale tonight in China.

Related stories: 

Range Rover Evoque review 

Volvo XC40 unveiled

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

Add a comment…