Seems there are benefits to living in the Far East.
Volvo was bought by Chinese automaker Geely more than a decade ago, and in the time since the Swedish company distanced itself from former owners Ford, it has thrived. Volvo's success has led to a new company called Polestar, and that is doing pretty well too. But while Geely has a bit of a bad reputation for ripping off the designs of major European automakers, it and Volvo understand each other very well, and instead of making a copy of the Volvo XC90, Geely has completely restyled it, added some of its own flair, and created a pretty impressive SUV. Meet the Lynk & Co. 09. Yeah, there wasn't much imagination left over for the name.
The new SUV was first announced in April at the Auto Shanghai 2021 show and was unveiled just yesterday as part of Lynk & Co.'s fifth-anniversary celebrations. It's the first car in the Chinese automaker's lineup to sit atop Volvo's SPA modular platform, and as such, it gets a 2.0-liter four-cylinder Drive engine with hybrid assistance. How you get that assistance is up to you, as buyers can choose from a mild-hybrid system that develops a total of 250 horsepower or the plug-in option that gives you 425 horses. Whichever you choose, an eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, just like in the XC90.
While we wouldn't call the exterior design particularly pretty, we can see that the company is trying hard for a luxury feel. A barred grille, Range Rover-like door accents, headlights not dissimilar to those of a Kia SUV, and a shark-fin D-pillar are all design traits that you'd expect to see on a high-end SUV, and the flush door handles don't hurt either. Inside, you get an expansive touchscreen, a large driver cluster, and a neat but effective center console design that we admit isn't much different from that of the Volvo. Nevertheless, this looks like a solid effort overall, at at a price of 265,900 yuan, it costs a little less than $42,000. If China can keep this kind of work up, we're sure that it will find customers in more diverse markets soon enough.