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An unknown car company could be Australia’s next performance hero

By Cameron Kirby, 26 Aug 2019 Features

lynk & co 03 cyan concept

Smashing Nurburgring records is just part of a path that could result in Aussie sales for new Chinese vehicle company

A four-door sedan that is faster than a supercharged V8 Jaguar with a roll cage, and more agile than a hot hatch. Sounds pretty darn good, right? Well, it could be coming to Australia soon.

Described above is the Lynk & Co 03 Cyan Concept, currently undergoing a transformation into life as a production car, with a possible eye on sales Down Under.

For many, the name Lynk & Co would be unknown, and we don’t blame you, as the company was only founded three years ago.

Read next: Lynk & Co SUV to kick-start new Chinese brand

It’s part Swedish, part Chinese, and owned by automotive conglomerate Geely, sharing its architecture and engines with Volvo (also owned by the Chinese giant).

Currently being offered only in the Chinese market, Lynk & Co has an edict to appeal to younger buyers by focusing on styling and technology. However, it seems performance isn’t at the bottom of the priority list, as shown by the super sedan we mentioned earlier - the 03 Cyan Concept - which is quite literally underpinned by a race car.

Cyan Racing (nee Polestar Performance, Volvo’s factory race team) field a Lynk & Co 03 in the World Touring Car Cup championship, which adheres to TCR regulations.

The 03 Cyan Concept puts a road car’s interior inside the traditionally stripped-out racer cabin of the TCR car, while utilising a version of the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine tuned to 373kW and 504Nm, powering the front wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox and proper mechanical differential.

The result is a car that lapped the Nurburgring quicker than Jaguar’s riotous Jaguar XE SV Project 8, which has a rollcage instead of back seats and supercharged 5.0-litre V8 under the bonnet. The 03 Cyan Concept is currently a one-off, but will undergo cold weather testing in Sweden soon, with plans for a production car to be sold in the near future.

Read: The insider: The Chinese car industry

Australians are rabid when it comes to performance vehicles; we are frequently among the top players on a per-capita basis when it comes to sales for performance sub-brands, so Lynk & Co could use the production version of the 03 Cyan Concept as an arrowhead into our market, following plans to begin sales in Europe and the US.

“Lynk & Co, Polestar, yes [we’d introduce them in Australia] in terms of supporting them for customer service at the very least,” Nick Connor, Volvo Australia managing director, recently told Wheels.

“I think because they have no infrastructure in Australia that’s something we’ll talk about.”

“It seems obvious to me that we have a network of very confident dealers and we’re servicing [Geely] SPA and CMA platform cars so if there are CMA platform cars from Lync & Co it would make sense for us to look at supporting them, but nothing is nailed down yet,” he said.

“I think they’d [Lynk & Co] set up their own sales network. Their international supply model is one of direct supply over the internet so they’re not planning to setup sales here. Maybe it is direct supply and Volvo dealers look after the customer service aspect.”

Read next: Brit sportscar brand Lotus sold to Chinese car maker Geely

Any Australian sales would have to wait until after Europe and the US are conquered, but there is plenty for local customers to be excited about.

Currently the company builds three vehicles, creatively dubbed the 01, 02, and 03, covering the medium SUV, small crossover, and compact sedan segments respectively.

Each is built on Volvo’s ‘Compact Modular Architecture’ (CMA), that helped the XC60 and XC40 SUVs to back-to-back Wheels Car of the Year victories, while utilising engines from the Swedish brand.

Geely intends to use Lynk & Co as a hammer blow to car dealerships, with plans to sell vehicles directly to customers via the internet without a brick and mortar middle man. The same would be replicated in Australia.

Aussies need not worry that the brand is unproven either, having sold over 120,00 vehicles in China last year, more than the second-best selling car brand in Australia managed (Mazda, 111,280).

If it can blend performance and style with a convenient buying process, Lynk & Co could have a recipe that will appeal greatly to Aussie buyers.