Four years after its big launch, Lynk & Co is finally making its long-awaited debut in the European market. The youth-oriented brand has revealed the first car it is selling in the continent – the facelifted 01 SUV – as well as an interesting new way of owning one.

The nipped-and-tucked 01 was leaked in July, and the car seen here carries all the exterior tweaks shown then, including updated front and rear bumper designs that bring it closer in look to the “coupé” version, the 05. The full-width grille is slimmer in the middle but drops down at the corners, while the mesh gets raised “dashes” instead of tiny perforations. The lower headlight units also appear to be slimmer, sporting a more trapezoidal shape and darkened internals to better blend into the grille.

The design of the air intakes is also revised, with an angular look first seen on the 03 sedan. There are narrow vertical inlets in the corners and a large trapezoidal one in the centre, with some black trim to link the two. The rear bumper features a similar look, with vertical reflectors, twin round tailpipes and a diffuser. The turbine-style 20-inch alloy wheels with contrast-colour highlights are also new.

Inside, the 01 gets a redesigned cabin that again references from the 05, sporting a full-width air vent design, a new three-spoke steering wheel, a sleeker centre console, a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and a much larger 12.7-inch centre touchscreen. The company says the car will come with cloud connectivity, online navigation, support for third-party apps and even a “social media camera”.

All these features will come as standard on the 01 in Europe. In fact, Lynk & Co will sell each car fully-loaded, with buyers only needing to pick from two colours (blue or black) and either a hybrid (HEV) or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain. No technical details have been revealed just yet, but the power units will likely be shared with the 01 sold in the Chinese market.

There, the 01 HEV is powered by a 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine, here making less power than in the new Proton X50 – 143 PS at 5,500 rpm and 215 Nm of torque from 2,500 to 4,000 rpm. It is mated to a seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission and an electric motor that produces 40 kW (54 PS) and 130 Nm, resulting in a total system output of 197 PS and 345 Nm. Fuel consumption is rated at 4.8 litres per 100 km.

Meanwhile, the PHEV gets a more powerful version of the engine that churns out 180 PS and 265 Nm from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm. With a more powerful electric motor pushing out 60 kW (82 PS) and 160 Nm, the whole unit pumps out 262 PS and 425 Nm. It delivers a claimed fuel consumption figure of 1.6 litres per 100 km as well as an all-electric range of 51 km.

The car is just one part of the story – Lynk & Co is also introducing a subscription-based service that it calls a membership. Essentially, it allows users to own a car as and when they want it, with a monthly fee that is projected to cost no more than €500 (RM2,400). Insurance, scheduled maintenance and access to the company’s car-sharing platform is included in that price.

That last bit is the most interesting because customers will be able to share their cars with other people such as family and friends – Lynk & Co says this will lower the amount they will have to pay each month. Memberships can be cancelled at any time with a one-month notice. Of course, buyers will also be able to purchase their cars outright, but the company clearly sees car sharing as playing a big part in its business.

Customers will be able to sign up for a membership by the end of October either online or offline, the latter though showrooms (or “clubs”, in Lynk & Co speak). In certain markets, the car can be delivered right to your doorstep. The first “club” will open in Amsterdam later this autumn, while the second will begin operations in Gothenburg before the end of the year.