Lynk & Co, a new car company that was spun out of Volvo (and is owned by Chinese automaker Geely), has released some teaser images of its newest concept sedan ahead of a full unveiling later this week at the Auto Shanghai show. The car is simply called the 03, and while it doesn’t look as crazy as your typical concept, it still paints a pretty different picture of where the industry is headed.
Like the SUV concept that Lynk & Co unveiled in October, the 03 sedan is meant to be shared. When the company came out of stealth mode last year this discussion was mostly focused on allowing drivers to distribute digital keys to family members or friends. But Lynk & Co is also going to offer a subscription model for the 03, according to the press release.
It’s an idea that a few other companies — from industry giants like Cadillac to troubled startups like Faraday Future — are toying with. Our cars spend a lot of time doing nothing at all, and as autonomous technology ramps up, the thinking is that people will embrace either allowing their car to be used in the meantime, or be okay with having access to a car only when they need one. Lynk & Co hasn’t talked much about what kinds of autonomous features its cars might have, but it appears to be betting a lot on this shared future.
The sedan, like the SUV, will also have an always-on data connection, and developers will be able to tinker with the car’s software thanks to an open API. Drivers will be able to customize the user interface to their liking, too. Otherwise, we’ll have to wait for the unveiling to learn more about what the 03 is capable of.
Still, the interior in these photos doesn’t look all that different from what we already see in production cars. The same goes for the car’s exterior. Considering Lynk & Co says it wants to enter production this year, these are probably good things. It’s a sign that, unlike some other car startups, the company might not be biting off more than it can chew.
You could argue that the 03 is a bit boring. But that’s probably the point. The company is using the sedan concept to reinforce the vision it laid out with its SUV concept, and it’s doing that without shouting about ludicrous 0–60 mph times or putting a bunch of sharp angles in the bodywork. It’s a nice change of pace and, as concept cars go, it’s a much more level-headed take on the near-future.