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Lynk & Co SUV spotted on the street

By Cameron Kirby, 30 Sep 2019 News

We caught this luxury SUV before it was ever meant to be seen

Lynk & Co could be the next big thing in Australia, and we spotted their new model in Europe ahead of a global reveal

Official press photography photoshoots are usually a top secret affair. Obviously a vehicle needs to be photographed ahead of its official global unveiling, sans-camouflage, so the world’s media has something to share upon the reveal.

Because of this, a global press photography shoot is usually something akin to a clandestine movie shoot, with entire city blocks shut down, and large barricades erected.

Chinese manufacturer Lynk & Co had something a little lower key planned for its upcoming 05 coupe SUV, hoping instead to fly under the radar. For the lesser-known brand, this could have been a clever play, but it clearly wasn’t expecting one of Australia’s leading automotive photographers to stumble into an active shoot.

Ellen Dewar heads up the photography department for Bauer Trader in Australia, with her photographs gracing the pages of Wheels, Motor, and Street Machine for decades. While taking a well-earned European holiday, she was doing some car spotting, and came across the 05, completely undisguised, on a public street.

Lynk & Co spy shot

According to Dewar, the 05 was having some transmission issues during the photoshoot, and was unable to be moved, leaving it stranded and unprotected as she snapped away.

The 05 will, as the name suggests, be the fifth model from the Chinese manufacturer, and will likely be built at the company’s ‘Fashion Factory’ in Zhangjiakou. The 04 hatchback is also due to be released imminently.

Lynk & Co 05 spotted

The newly built manufacturing plant in Zhangjiakou has been designed to produce 200,000 vehicles each year.

As with all Lynk & Co products, the 05 will be underpinned by a chassis, and powered by engines, engineered by sister company Volvo.

The same CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) that is the backbone of the Wheels 2019 Car of the Year Volvo XC40 will be used for the 05.

Engines for the 05 are expected to be a combination of turbocharged petrol three and four-cylinder units, as well as a plug-in hybrid variant.

With Volvo announcing a full EV XC40 is coming, it’s also likely the 05 could do the same.

Lynk & Co only launched in 2016, and is currently only sold in its native China. However, a global expansion is in the company’s eventual plans, with Australian sales possibly in the long-term outlook.

Read next: An unknown car company could be Australia's next performance hero

European and North American sales would likely happen before Lynk & Co came Down Under, but that hasn’t stopped higher-ups from Volvo Australia expressing interest in having the Chinese vehicles being offered to customers.

Lynk & Co badge

“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 Lynk & Co it would make sense for us to look at supporting them, but nothing is nailed down yet,” he said.

Lynk & Co spy shot street spy shot

“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.”

The flagship of any future Lynk & Co expansion is set to be a production version of its 03 Cyan Concept.

Currently undergoing development for a limited production run, the 03 Cyan Concept is a four-door sedan, with a beefed-up engine and gearbox lifted from a TCR race car.

Tuned to 373kW and 504Nm, sent to the front wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox and proper mechanical differential, the 03 Cyan Concept lapped the Nurburgring quicker than a supercharged V8-powered Jaguar XE SV Project 8 –making it the quickest four-door car in the Green Hell’s history.

Quicker than the Lynk & Co 05? Well, quicker than this one at least.