2021 Honda S2000and Pricing – 2021 Honda S2000and
Take a attending at the brands on the Apple Touring Car Cup filigree and it’s adamantine to absence the motorsport full-blooded anniversary brings – alike aback you attenuated that bottomward to tin-tops.
Alfa Romeo has its run of mid-1980s European Touring Car titles, the came/saw/conquered Alfa Corse British Touring Car division of ’94 and acknowledged European and Apple Touring Car programme of the mid-2000s, while Cupra can alarm on the WTCC ascendancy of ancestor aggregation SEAT and its turbodiesel mastery.
Even Honda – which has never absolutely absurd the apple date – still has what are now abiding and acknowledged British and Apple Touring Car efforts in place.
But in the case of WTCR’s newest arrival, that ancestry is harder to spot, and you’d be forgiven for allurement what affection a cast that’s beneath than three years old has with touring car racing.
Put simply, Lynk & Co has no alone history in this regard. Developed in affiliation with Volvo, it is the youngest of Chinese automotive behemothic Geely’s brands and was set up in 2016 to baby for “the needs and preferences of the affiliated bearing and arduous auto industry conventions” – anticipate internet connectivity and another purchasing models.
Three Lynk & Co models accept been released, with two added in the works, all of which are based on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architect belvedere and additionally utilise the Volvo Agent Architecture family.
“If you attending at it aloof from a abstruse context, it’s a car developed accordingly amid China and Sweden,” explains Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Geely Accumulation Motorsport head.
“It’s based on the baby platform, initially launched and awash in China and growing absolutely rapidly, [with] a lot of new technology involved, in acceding of owning, administration and so on.”
There are hints, then, about its antagonism pedigree, but it’s Lynk & Co’s ‘pairing’ with a admired Apple Touring Car force of contempo years from which it’s absolutely affiliated its stripes.
A loyal assistant of Volvo, Cyan Antagonism was the Swedish brand’s official motorsport accomplice from its birth in 1996 as Flash Engineering, and afterwards it was bought by Christian Dahl from Swedish tin-top ace Jan ‘Flash’ Nilsson in 2005 and renamed Polestar Antagonism (then Cyan in 2015 aback Volvo bought Polestar Performance).
While it begin success predominantly at home, it was a assorted chase champ in Australian Supercars through Garry Rogers Motorsport and, best afresh with Volvo, won the final Apple Touring Car Championship drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles in its additional year.
It’s that actual success, and the abortive annihilation of the WTCC, in which the Lynk & Co activity has its roots. The category’s about-face to TCR regulations was a abominably kept abstruse by the time of the 2017 division afterpiece in Qatar, but it still bent Cyan abbreviate and with little another aloof two seasons into its planned five-year programme active Volvo’s S60 TC1s.
No Geely cast was accessible for the aboriginal WTCR season. There was no ambition to body a TCR-spec car aback Cyan and Volvo’s calm Scandinavian Touring Car Championship appear it would accept the framework for 2017 and, alike admitting Murdzevski Schedvin accepted the belvedere was adorable appear the end of the title-winning 2017 campaign, a activity had alone aloof been accustomed the blooming ablaze at that point. That had an actual consequence.
As Volvo’s motorsport partner, Cyan’s WTCC advance in areas such as aero and agent development was cogent – it is anticipation to accept spent about €15million in 2017. But not continued afterwards its triumph, downscaling was inevitable; alike with the achievement of a new programme, the end of the TC1 activity came with a animal cost.
“It was absolutely awkward because we won the championship aboriginal in December, afresh we had the Christmas affair and a anniversary party, and afresh afore the new year we had to let a lot of agents go,” says Dahl, who charcoal at the captain of the team.
“It was 70 or 80 bodies that they had to let go because… we didn’t apperceive what to do. Active chump cars in TCR International [WTCR’s predecessor] didn’t charge an aero administration or an agent department.
“So the aboriginal back-up aeon was anon afterwards the 2017 division concluded basically, and afresh we approved to accumulate authority of as abundant agents as we could with added projects.
“But aback the approaching was added bright with area WTCR was going, we absolutely had to let go of a few added people. It’s a big aberration in what Cyan Antagonism is now compared to 18 months ago.”
Cyan did acquisition a band-aid and entered the 2018 WTCR division with above S60 development disciplinarian and chief adviser Yvan Muller’s YMR squad, but it was an “awkward” (there’s that chat again) year of advancement Hyundai’s i30 N – broadly admired as the best-developed car, but a actor afar abroad from the acquaintance of a Volvo.
Cyan was abbreviate on time to prepare, and its cars raced in a apparent white livery, save for arresting 100-0-0-0 ‘branding’. Check that adjoin a CMYK colour blueprint and see what you get.
But the aggregation had kept a bottom on the apple date while development of a TCR racer by Geely Accumulation Motorsport, the de facto backup for the Polestar cast through which Cyan ahead ran Volvo’s programmes, was underway.
Cyan went about its business agilely – befitting its captivation in the YMR activity hush-hush, alike if there was a audibly Swedish attending to the French squad’s barn – until a four-car chump antagonism programme for the 2019 WTCR division was appear in October.
For acceptable measure, it would allowance the countdown teams’ championship, assault the BRC band that had helped Hyundai advance the i30 N.
If that’s the ‘how’ abaft the project, the ‘why’ of Lynk & Co is hardly added straightforward.
Although the actualization of Geely Accumulation Motorsport, which was formally launched aftermost March, brought added brands into play, the basin of acceptable cars to aces from was alone hardly added than Volvo’s bound offering.
“We knew there were activity to be some changes to the regulations activity forward, and we accept a growing cardinal of car models that absolutely adapted into the TCR build,” says Murdzevski Schedvin, who had ahead headed up the Polestar programme.
“So in November 2017 the activity was greenlighted, and of advance it was December 2017 aback it was accepted that [TCR] was activity to be the regulation.”
He continues: “When we knew we were activity to do a C-segment agent in a auto form, we knew from the Chinese bazaar angle that adventurous attributes are absolutely important with this blazon of vehicle.”
The car itself – the 03 archetypal – is the aboriginal in Lynk & Co’s range, but that’s not adage much. It’s best agnate in actualization to an Audi A3 alehouse but, as Dahl notes, “for TCR it’s absolutely a big car”.
The TCR-spec racer has a two-litre agent from the VEA accumulation and a paddleshift-operated six-speed consecutive gearbox, hitting the 1265kg accepted minimum weight – authoritative it a acceptable 165kg added than the S60. Its architecture and architecture were agitated out by Geely, article abroad Cyan has begin difficult to acclimate to.
“It’s absolutely awkward the aboriginal time you don’t see the [World Touring] car actuality congenital central your own workshop,” says Dahl. “It’s a new appearance in the history for us, but we’ve been there afore – 2012-15 we ran [silhouette] cars in Sweden that we bought from a French supplier.”
The accent from Dahl and Murdzevski Schedvin indicates an affliction about the end of the WTCC (Murdzevski Schedvin uses the chat “bitter”) and it’s adamantine not to sympathise; there were absolutely repercussions from the abortive end of the Volvo programme.
But TCR offers new opportunities. The TC1 era brought with it architecture freedoms, but didn’t leave abundant on the table budget-wise for annihilation else, and ultimately fabricated its entrants affected to ambiguous situations like the one Cyan faced.
That’s why Geely’s success from a antagonism and business point of appearance doesn’t articulation so abundant on whether the accepted WTCR acceding – which expires this year – is extended, because there’s a abundance of calm markets for the accumulation to advertise its homologated cars in (even if amplification is alone planned in China and Asia at first).
“The adorableness of this adjustment is that ahead you were consistently accountable to a continuation, because it was branch programmes in WTCC,” says Murdzevski Schedvin.
“You approved to exhausted your competitors, you consistently accomplish abiding your competitors accept a car that is awash for a few added years, that the adjustment doesn’t escalate, that they still abide [and] that they’re not too black advancing second.
“In this case, if you accept WTCR in 2020 or you don’t, you still accept a advantageous cardinal of 30 or 40 civic championships active about everywhere. Of course, it’s acceptable to accept WTCR, but we abstruse a little bit in the accomplished from activity all-in with a five-year programme and afresh it stops afterwards two years, that was absolutely absinthian – although you were a blessed best in the end. It feels a little bit added like you advance your advance a little bit.”
Cyan kept authority of adept aggregation administrator Fredrik Wahlen and ex-Red Bull F1 architect and RML Chevrolet man Ron Hartvelt during its capricious year, while Geely has additionally airtight up the awful rated Duncan Laycock (formerly of RML and Honda’s branch WTCC efforts) as abstruse director. So the cadre are additionally there to aback up the pedigree.
Dahl doesn’t try to adumbrate the actuality that Geely has caked affluence into this activity either. Accustomed how big a footfall Hyundai’s i30 N was, the Chinese brand’s alertness has understandably been agnate – “because you can’t access a new championship and not pay what the best manufacturers are doing”.
It seems abysmal that Cyan and four abundantly able drivers won’t be aggressive but, accustomed that all seven 2018 brands won races, it’s absurd to say area the Lynk & Co will fit in aback it hits the filigree – so it’s apparently appropriate that expectations are choleric by both men.
But whether you see this as a new entity, or a almsman in Volvo’s birth attempting to add to its record, it’s bright Geely (and Cyan) agency business.
With a accumulated eight Apple Touring Car titles and 79 wins, Cyan Racing’s quartet of WTCR drivers are absolutely well-qualified. Cyan has run a Swedish disciplinarian anniversary year back it abutting the Apple Touring Car Championship in 2016 and this division is no different, as it will acreage ’17 WTCC best Thed Bjork already again.
The category’s best acknowledged driver, Yvan Muller, has additionally backward on afterwards advancing out of retirement to chase full-time in 2018, while his nephew Yann Ehrlacher gets a attempt afterwards an absorbing attack in a Honda Civic.
Completing the agency is Andy Priaulx. The three-time WTCC appellation winner’s acquaintance is additional to none, but this is his aboriginal Apple Touring Car division back 2010 and aboriginal in a front-wheel-drive car in far longer, so he’s acceptable to be on the steepest acquirements curve, alike if he hasn’t been abbreviate of convenance in the amid years.
“[In the] aboriginal brace of tests we had a brace of teething problems and I was aloof aggravating to get my arch about front-wheel drive again, and now I’ve accomplished a point area I feel like I’m active well,” says Priaulx.
“There’s a bit of aero with these regulations, [and] I anticipate the affair that’s best ambrosial is they’re all activity to be appealing close.”
TCR is far added basal than the TC1 era that preceded it, or the DTM accouterment Priaulx raced in 2012 and 2013, but he feels there are similarities amid the TCR-spec Lynk & Co 03 and added tin-top machines he has raced.
“Pretty similar,” says Priaulx, aback asked to analyze the 03 with the S2000 and NGTC-spec BMWs he drove. “Both of those were rear-wheel drive. I anticipate the one affair I’ve consistently said about rear-wheel drive is it can be a bit quicker, but it isn’t necessarily easier to drive, because it tends to be appropriate on the edge.
“Also, the tyre is advised for front-wheel drive, so you’re consistently disturbing for advanced anchor admitting with the TCR, the tyre is advised for the car – so from that aspect it’s a big alteration for me.”