Renault's Pioneering Espace Minivan Gets All Jacked Up for Paris
29 Septembre 2014 - Autoblog
For roughly the past 30 years, the Renault Espace has been among the definitive European minivans, but the rising tide of crossovers has put that streak to an end.
The French automaker has released the first three images teasing the next-gen model, and it has confirmed the van's transformation into a CUV to debut during a press conference at the 2014 Paris Motor Show led by company CEO Carlos Ghosn.
The decision to switch the Espace from minivan to crossover shouldn't come as a complete surprise. At the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault showed off the Initiale Paris concept as a CUV to preview the next Espace. While the plexiglass roof with a map of Paris didn't make it to production, the broad strokes of the shape certainly did.
Like the Initiale Paris concept, the production Espace features a sweeping arc running from its hood to the rear hatch with a fairly large greenhouse by modern standards. A massive Renault emblem dominates the front with lots of chrome accents on the grille and lower airdam. However, the back might be the CUV's best angle because of the unique shape for the rear pillar, visually interesting taillights and exhaust outlets integrated into the rear bumper. Inside, Renault promises to offer five- and seven-seat versions, both with modular layouts to rearrange to the owner's needs.
Renault will almost certainly reveal more details about the Espace at the unveiling in Paris, but the company already says there will no models for right-hand drive markets.