It claims to be “the most connected car in the world”, it was designed and engineered in Sweden and it will be built in China where it will go on sale from next year before arriving in Europe and the United States in 2018. We are talking about the 01, the first car to be spawned by Lynk & Co, the new brand launched by Geely Auto Group which thus builds on its acquisition of Volvo in 2010. In fact the Chinese group, together with the Swedish engineers, have developed the new CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform which will provide the base for Lynk & Co. vehicles and the Volvo Series 40, starting with the XC40 crossover.

So first out of the box is the 01, a medium segment Suv that will be followed by other models for which the Geely Design Sweden team in Goteborg (completely separate from Volvo) has defined a new brand identity. “The design brief was simple: the cars should stand out from the crowd and appeal to a global audience. Acknowledging that our users are extremely tech-savvy – our interior design reflects this and feels familiar in the context of new technology”, explains Andreas Nilsson, former Volvo designer and now head of Lynk & Co. design, a role in which he answers to Peter Horbury, Executive Vice President of Design of Geely Auto Group.

For the front, a key to the identity of all brands and so finalised only after countless working hypotheses, the team opted to position the daytime running lights high up at the sides of the bonnet, while the grille extends horizontally right across the front, concealing the headlights when the lights are off. The formal inspiration for the new cues, explain Andreas Nilsson and the head of Advanced Design of the Swedish team Stefan Rosén, came from observing megacities, particularly in the East, like Shanghai, Tokyo and Bangkok, their lights and the lifestyle of the young city-dwellers that the 01 targets.

The 01 will be followed by other models with the same deliberately simple name (02, 03 etc. to emphasise the new business model that will make the relationship between maker and user more direct) but meanwhile Lynk & Co. has also unveiled Concept Car, an equally minimalist name for a 4-door GT coupé that shows the versatility of the CMA platform set up for hybrid and electric engines.

Left, Peter Horbury, Executive Vice President of Design di Geely Auto Group.