This Lynk & Co 06 seems so awesome and refreshing. With no limit on budget and no rules on design, this is how far they could push the X50. Think about it.
The Geely (Group) umbrella is already pretty large, but it’s set to get even more expansive once their cars and brands start to really cross-pollinate. Lynk & Co, founded in 2016, is a marque you may not have heard of or know much about, but it’s fairly safe to think of them as the halfway point between Geely (the automaker) and Volvo.
With its roots wedged somewhere between China and Sweden, the premise of the company has also been a novel approach to car ownership and connected mobility, thus they’ve been much more experimental with subscriptions/membership and other flexible car sharing solutions.
The 06, despite its rather nondescript plain Jane name, is anything but ordinary. It was first teased in late 2019 but has only now come fully into the light. From the outside alone, this compact SUV is all about style and expression.
However, given its size and how the company has handled the interior and certain other features, it begins to look more and more like the much more premium version of the Binyue, a model that should soon be very familiar to Malaysians as the Proton X50.
Basically, this is how awesome the X50 could be if there was no cap on its cap budget or selling price. Should Proton ever seek to challenge the Audi Q2 or Mercedes-Benz GLA, something along the lines of this Lynk & Co should be a pretty good opening punch.
Let's deal with the obvious stuff first. Unsurprisingly, the 06 sits upon the CMA platform that’s shared with the Volvo XC40, the Geely Binyue, and pretty much every other Lynk & Co model so far. It also has the same 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol that’s been the subject of much rumour here in Malaysia, having become more and more prevalent throughout the Geely Group.
Despite the large 19-inch wheels and athletic body lines, the 06 is definitely not a stand-out by sheer size, even by B-segment standards. Perhaps that’ll be most apparent when stepping inside. Greeting you might be a cozy cabin, but one that’s definitely a step above the mid-range.
The dashboard layout is most definitely a snazzier take on the Binyue, everything from the positioning of the infotainment screen to the shape of the steering wheel is clearly a Geely import. Over the Chinese marque’s offering, the fit and finish and material luxury on display in the 06 is definitely a few notches up.
Also of particular of note is what they’ve done to the centre console and gear shift surround, which combines white leather (?) upholstery, backlit glossy piano black accents, and soft touch buttons (also backlit). It speaks to a level of quality and detail in a fashion that even most BMWs would be speechless in the face of. The gear shifter itself has a maritime connection, designed to resemble lever-throttles on boats.
Everything just screams “expensive” and "exciting" at the same time, as if Volvo’s designers took a gap year to become rebellious backpacking free-love hippies, and this is what resulted upon their return.
Look at those combination leather (or synthetic leather) and denim-like fabric seats. Look at that orange contrast stitching. Look at it! What a great combo. That said, it’s not so great on only 2 of each wheel’s 5 spokes.
As most premium SUVs are already going down the route of electrification, the 06 too is ready for that evolution. At launch, the aforementioned 1.5-litre turbo delivers a taut 174PS and 265Nm, mated to a 7-speed wet-type dual clutch transmission.
Later on, a more eco-friendly PHEV powertrain should join the range, using its single electric motor to drive the rear wheels for a pseudo-AWD drive layout with up to 265PS. Conceivably, a fully electric version could also come around to reality given the Volvo XC40 Recharge has already set a template for it.
Those daydreaming about a potential Malaysian-made luxury crossover were so far made to use their imagination to fashion it out of an X50. Lynk & Co have basically created a fully realised version of that here in the 06. It’s got the looks, it’s got the class, and it’s got the tech. All we need is a Proton-like price tag.