Lynk & Co 03++, the last glory of domestic fuel vehicles

There is no sea in Bayinbuluke, Heroes never die.

During the Spring Festival four years ago, I sat in the cinema and watched "Flying Life".

At the end of the movie, Zhang Chi made a desperate move and burned everything in the car, rushed out of the Bayinbrook track and fell off the cliff. At the same moment, golden light suddenly appeared, and Overwatch's "Angel" slowly raised his palm and softly called out "Heroes Never Die", which had saved countless players in the game.

Freezing on the screen that broke the dimensional wall, a burst of unique fuel racing excitement rushed directly to my forehead, arousing goosebumps all over my body. In 2019, when new energy has not yet emerged, the final scene of the movie deepened the weight of high-performance fuel vehicles in my heart.

Four years have passed, Overwatch has become "cool", and domestic traditional fuel vehicles are also showing some signs of weakness due to the rapid advancement of new energy sources. When the passion for traditional fuels faded and the silent and rough motors began to occupy the "high ground" of the market, the domestic high-performance fuel vehicle market has turned into a "wasteland".

What is gratifying is that in this "sparsely populated" wasteland, there are still people who choose to open up wasteland and hold on to the final glory of domestically produced fuel vehicles.

▲ Lynk & Co 03++

On October 19, Lynk & Co officially launched China's first high-performance fuel vehicle, Lynk & Co 03++. Lynk & Co has derived two models from the 03++, namely the 03+ Racing, a four-wheel drive version, and the 03+ TCR Cyan, which is almost 100% restored to the track front-wheel drive version. At the "heart" of the Lynk & Co 03++, it is equipped with a 2.0T engine that supports supercharging, which can burst out a maximum of 350 horsepower and a peak torque of 450 Nm.

Interestingly, on the night of the launch of Lynk & Co 03++, Yin Zheng (one of the leading actors in *Flying Life) publicly expressed his love for Lynk & Co 03++ on social platforms.

▲Screenshot from Weibo@永正

Overwatch is "dead", but domestic high-performance fuel is not "dead" yet. The performance data that appear "unremarkable" in the new energy era cannot conceal the historical significance that Lynk & Co 03++ brings to the Chinese automobile industry.

The original flavor of Lynk & Co

There are not many people in China who can take on the job of "high-performance fuel", and Lynk & Co is one of them.

In 2018, the WTCC World Touring Car Championship officially announced its restructuring, and the new TCR racing specifications will replace the original TC1 specifications. After the restructuring, the biggest change in WTCR is that the participating factory teams have withdrawn from the paddock and transformed into a "technical support" role. At the same time, WTCR’s new regulations have strict regulations on participating models. Current participating models must meet the following conditions:

  • Front wheel drive
  • Choose a 4/5 door structure model
  • Force the use of mass-produced engines with an air intake of 1.75-2.0 liters
  • The maximum horsepower output by the engine shall not exceed 350PS

In short, it means that the car manufacturers "withdraw" and turn behind the scenes of technology, and completely hand over the "winning ball" to the drivers. The ultimate purpose of the restructuring is to re-enhance the enjoyment of the game.

▲ Pictures of the Lynk & Co team in the WTCR event are from-AutoSport

In the same year, Lynk & Co released the 03 model and transformed the TCR racing car based on the 03. It is particularly worth mentioning that the Lynk & Co 03 is the first Lynk & Co sedan model to adopt the CMA architecture. Excellent architectural compatibility cleared the tuning obstacles. In less than half a year, Lynk & Co 03 successfully debuted at the WTCR opening race in 2019, becoming the first Chinese brand team to participate in the WTCR World Touring Car Championship. Before 2019, WTCR had never had a Chinese car brand participate.

From 2019 to 2021, the Lynk & Co team won three consecutive championships in the WTCR event, becoming the first domestic brand to achieve three consecutive championships in the world's top motor sports events. There is no doubt about Lynk & Co's gold content in automotive performance events.

Interestingly, thanks to the strict competition requirements, WTCR is not too magical and is relatively closer to reality than the absolute top events such as F1. The mandatory use of "mass-produced" engines in the competition system makes it possible for authentic competition models to become a reality, and WTCR has become the touchstone of Lynk & Co 03++.

The launch of Lynk & Co 03++ is like Lynk & Co moving its competition car from the track to daily roads. The front-wheel drive structure, 5-door body structure, oversized carbon fiber rear wing and genuine 350PS 2.0T engine are compared to Compared with the previous model 03+ Cyan, the weight of the new car has been reduced by 150kg, and the thermal management system capacity of the vehicle has been improved by nearly 60%. The 03++ has a higher performance limit. From any point of view, Lynk & Co 03++ is an extremely qualified "performance car".

However, Lynk & Co's interpretation of "authentic flavor" does not stop at a single hardware quality. In terms of interpretation of track performance, Lynk & Co also wants to go even further. The Lynk & Co 03++ TCR Cyan model completely gives up the rear space. The internal team added more track elements to the car. In addition to the use of large areas of suede material in the interior, the front row also uses classic racing seats. chair design. In addition, the most eye-catching thing is in the rear row. Lynk & Co has completely given up the use of rear space and retained the original roll cage design on the track version.

▲ 03++ The front and rear rows are equipped with original roll cage design

As Yin Zheng said, Lynk & Co 03++ is a "real" performance car. It is extremely rare for a domestic brand to be able to condense the crystallization of the track and create such an excellent fuel-powered high-performance model.

A victory for the minority

The performance car market is inherently niche.

In the domestic market in the past 2022, the annual sales volume of the BMW M Power series was 3,824 units, the annual sales volume of the Audi sports line (S+RS) was approximately 4,100+ units, and the best-selling Mercedes-Benz AMG series was only more than 21,000 units. .

In the entire market, fuel-powered high-performance vehicles account for an extremely small share. What's worse is that even with such a small share, the space left for domestic brands is also quite narrow. Under the new energy wave, the emergence of pure electric models has also forced the high-performance fuel vehicle market to face shrinkage and decline. Lynk & Co's launch of a high-performance fuel model like the 03++ at this time is obviously "thankless."

Lynk & Co insiders once revealed to the outside world that Lynk & Co had also planned to abandon the 03++. On the one hand, the team did not know whether it would make sense to launch high-performance fuel vehicles in the pure electric era. On the other hand, the production line and suppliers. In order to mass-produce 03++, Lynk & Co reorganized its supplier partners, and all vehicle performance accessories production lines were also reshaped. The cost and effort required can be imagined.

03++, it finally appeared in front of us as promised. Lynk & Co's "Trip to the Tiger Mountain" strategy is related to its own product planning.

Seven years after its birth, Lynk & Co is about to become the first Chinese high-end (car) brand to reach one million sales.

Lin Jie, vice president of Geely Group, said this at the launch of Lynk & Co 08 two months ago. Lynk & Co has requirements for its own positioning. If it wants to be high-end and luxurious while reaching millions of sales, Lynk & Co needs a sufficiently "deep" product matrix.

▲ Lynk & Co 08 press conference site

Looking at Lynk & Co's product line, we can find that Lynk & Co is extremely persistent in performance derivative models. Almost every model line has a derivative performance version. For example, Lynk & Co launched the "little steel cannon" Hatchback model in the 02 series, and the 05+ in the 05 series, which can break 100km in 6.5 seconds.

In fact, high-end luxury and youthful sports are the foundation of Lynk & Co's brand, and the 03++ fills the gap in Lynk & Co's high-performance fuel vehicle products. To put it more bluntly, the product significance of 03++ is more important than sales volume. Lynk & Co cares more about the role of 03++ as a technical benchmark, which is the source of vitality for the Lynk & Co brand.

What’s commendable is that the “technical benchmark” set by Lynk & Co is not unattainable. Compared with some brands that "shelf" high-performance fuel products as heirlooms to enhance their style, Lynk & Co has truly paid attention to the needs of the extremely niche performance car enthusiasts born in the 1990s and even the 2000s. Since the 03+, Lynk & Co 03++ has continued the "people-friendly" pricing strategy. The four-wheel drive version of the 03++ has a starting price of 285,800 yuan, and the TRC Cyan version has a starting price of 423,000 yuan, with excellent playability. High-performance fuel vehicles are no longer the treasure of a few enthusiasts. Lynk & Co 03++ is a niche victory.

In the electric era, almost all peers are fully devoted to the pure electric wave, but Lynk & Co has planted new flowers in the "wasteland". We should express our respect to Lynk & Co.

After all, the victory of China's automobile industry should not belong only to new energy.

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