To date, Lynk & Co has been playing in the near-premium sector, straddling the line between mainstream and luxury brands. But it’s graduation day for this hitherto youth-oriented carmaker, as it’s moving upmarket in a big way by adopting Volvo’s Scalable Premium Architecture (SPA).

Currently underpinning the S60/V60, S90/V90, XC60 and XC90 models, the large vehicle platform is a step up both in size and technology compared to the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) the company currently uses. Lynk & Co is claiming a favourable dash-to-axle ratio for premium proportions, a high level of crash protection, more powerful engines, low noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and plenty of driver assists.

Notably, the SPA platform provides access to Volvo’s 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and eight-speed Aisin automatic gearbox, available in mild hybrid, full hybrid and plug-in hybrid variations. Power outputs range from 252 PS to 431 PS, with another 177 PS coming from rear electric motors.

If all this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same configuration found in other SPA models, including Volvo’s Recharge T8 plug-in hybrids and the Polestar 1 with its 608 PS three-motor plug-in hybrid system. Lynk & Co is also boasting a range of semi-autonomous driving and parking features already fitted to Volvo vehicles, as well as support for over-the-air updates.

So what’s the first Lynk & Co model to feature the SPA platform? The company revealed the first image of a large SUV called the 09, essentially the sibling to the XC90. The side profile is certainly imposing enough for a premium crossover, with lengthy proportions, a long bonnet and an upright front end.

The trademark split headlights and split D-pillars (giving the car a “floating roof” look) remain, but they’re combined with new details such as fake vents in the doors (mirroring the Range Rover) and flush pop-up door handles. A few leaked images have also surfaced on Chinese news sites such as Sohu, revealing a much larger grille compared to other Lynk & Co models, incorporating vertical slats.