The bug-eyed and not at all catchily named Lynk & Co 03 Cyan Concept - revealed last week - was a surprise to us given the identity of the bill-payer. But the race team responsible for its development it is clearly not messing about: "This car is a development platform for future production performance road cars based on Lynk & Co technology," said Henrik Fries, Head of Automotive R&D at Cyan Racing.
As statements go, that's a fairly unambiguous one. And it's not like the team is lacking in experience. As Fries points out, "we've done this journey before with the Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar" back when the team ran Volvo's own motorsport programme.
The detail of the 528hp Concept in question is laid out below, although it's safe to say that it's very definitely a road version of the TCR car which will feature in this season's World Touring Car Cup. "While this concept might be a bit extreme, we have learned that in order to explore the true characteristics of a car you need to push it to its maximum and that is just what we are doing right now with this car," said Thed Björk, racing and development driver.
To prove Björk's point we get the first video of testing - and on actual roads, to boot. The location is Spain (rather than Sweden) and if you can get passed those headlights, it looks pretty tasty to us. "We strive to find the optimal balance between responsiveness and performance in combination with predictable, balanced and safe behaviour. This is the same base philosophy as when we develop race cars. I love driving this car as much as my race car."
Original story - 04/03/19
If you thought it odd that Lynk&Co, a brand mostly concerned with the car sharing industry, is to go racing in the World Touring Car Championship this year, the arrival of a performance car concept that could preview a future road model must seem even more bizarre. After all, firms directly involved with car sharing normally centre their attention on run-of-the-mill vehicles that suit modern urbanites, not 528hp saloons with whacking great rear spoilers. Not that we're complaining.
In the weeks leading up to the 2019 WTCC opener, Cyan Racing - the outfit previously known as Polestar until Volvo bought the brand name for its performance division - has adapted the Lynk&Co 03 four-door model from racer to road specification. Although with close to 270hp per litre from a turbocharged 1,969cc four-pot and 410hp per tonne (the car weighs 1,287kg), we use the term loosely.
The motor, which produces its peak horsepower at 7,800rpm and outputs 372lb ft of torque at 4,500-7,000rpm, is still linked to a motorsport-spec sequential gearbox that can bang through each of its six speed in just 60 milliseconds. Power is passed through a limited slip differential on the front axle.
Consequently, 62mph comes up in 4.4 seconds, 124mph in just 10 seconds, and top speed is 193mph. Naturally, it'll corner like a proper track car too, with a set of adjustable Ohlins dampers hidden behind those 20-inch wheels, which come wrapped in 285-section rubber. Braking is handled by enormous six-piston front and two-piston rear calipers.
With such a tantalising setup, Cyan Racing's creation looks like a rival to the Jaguar XE SV Project 8, but one with an even more direct link to motorsport. Will this 528hp 003 make it to the road proper? Given that nobody expected Lynk&Co to go racing in the first place, it seems nothing's off the table. That being said, we wouldn't get our hopes up of seeing one of these on the rental car list anytime soon. Not that we'd complain about that either...