The wraps off have been taken off the fifth-generation Renault Espace days ahead of its first public outing at the Paris motor show.
With its new hunkered down stance and much more elegant clothes, Renault is referring to the new Espace as a crossover not a people mover.
Regardless of semantics, the car that, for Europeans at least, started the whole people mover ball rolling has been reimagined and redesigned from the ground up. The new car sits on the Renault-Nissan CFM1 modular platform that currently does duty underneath the Qashqai and X-Trail, and will underpin the next-generation Megane, Latitude and Koleos.
Minor bits of detailing aside, the new Espace is very similar to the Initiale Paris concept that debuted at the Frankfurt motor show around this time last year. Key changes in its move from concept to production include the use of conventional forward hinged passenger doors and the adoption of traditional wing mirrors.
Renault has yet to reveal the look of the Espace’s interior, but insists that it will be brightly lit, feature a floating centre console and have “ingenious interior modularity”. The new Espace will be available in both five- and seven-seat configurations.
According to Autocar top-spec Espaces will feature a glazed roof, and an interior replete with aluminium and wood trim.
Renault has yet to confirm when the new car will replace the current model, which has been on sale since 2003. Sources have informed AutoExpress that the new Espace won’t be made in right-hand drive, as large seven-seat people movers have fallen out of favour of the British public.