Korean-made Lynk & Co 01 SUV could be launched in the U.S. – Report [Update]

Update: Introduction updated with information on Renault and Geely’s formal agreement.

Chinese conglomerate Geely, the owner of Lynk & Co, has formally collaborated with Renault to manufacture hybrid, electric and ICE vehicles in Busan, South Korea, starting in 2024. With this agreement, this plan could lead to the U.S. launch of the Lynk & Co brand, with the 01 as its first model in the country.

Renault and Geely’s collaboration will allow the former to borrow the CMA platform. Renault isn’t doing well in South Korea, where it operates through a joint venture with Samsung. Geely sees Renault and Samsung’s jointly owned South Korean plant, located in Busan, as a smart way to the U.S. market, Reuters said in its report in December 2021.

While vehicles will be initially designed for the South Korean market, RSM will allow for their export in the future.

Geely Holding Group and Renault Group, when announcing their cooperation on Jan 21, 2022

South Korea has a free-trade agreement with the United States, and it has built a reputation for high-quality cars among Americans. There’s the added benefit of better diplomatic relations between the nations. Moreover, the deal benefits both the brands as Geely could now export cars to the U.S. duty free while Renault Samsung Motors improves its position in South Korea with new vehicles.

Reuters reported that Geely wants to manufacture the Lynk & Co 01 SUV at Renault Samsung Motors (RSM)’ factory in Busan. It will simply outsource the job to RSM instead of acquiring the production site and managing the operation. The Lynk & Co 01 is available in gasoline, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid variants, and Geely is interested in overseas production of the gasoline and hybrid variants. RSM will manufacture several Lynk & Co brand models, not just the 01, it added.

Lynk & Co 01 Specifications

The Lynk & Co 01’s hybrid variant uses a 106 kW (142 hp)/215 Nm (159 lb.-ft.) 1.5L three-cylinder gasoline engine linked to a 7-speed DCT and a 40 kW (54 hp)/130 Nm (96 lb.-ft.) electric motor. A 1.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack powers the electric motor. The hybrid system produces 197 PS (194 hp) of total power.

The Lynk & Co 01 plug-in hybrid variant uses a powerful and torquier 1.5L three-cylinder gasoline engine that features direct injection. This engine, also paired with a 7-speed DCT, produces 132 kW (177 hp) and 265 Nm (195 lb.-ft.). The electric motor is punchier, too, generating 60 kW (80 hp) and 160 Nm (118 lb.-ft.). The lithium-ion battery pack is a significantly bigger, 17.6 kWh unit. The plug-in hybrid powertrain develops a combined power of 261 PS (257 hp). The electric range of the plug-in hybrid variant on the WLTP cycle is 69 km (43 miles).

Like in Europe, Lynk & Co models in the U.S. could come with a subscription option. Alain Visser, CEO, Lynk & Co International, told Bloomberg earlier that the subscription business model will be feasible in the United States. We’ll update this story as and when new information emerges.

Featured Image Source: Lynk & Co