Renault’s launch of its luxurious 'Initiale Paris' trim level will not make it to the UK until 2015 at the earliest.
The new badge is being rolled out on the Espace from 2014, although that model has already been confirmed as not coming to the UK. The Clio will also get its own Initiale Paris version, but at the moment this isn't planned for sale in right-hand drive markets.
Speaking to Autocar at the Frankfurt motor show, Renault UK managing director Ken Ramirez said the reason for the delay was that Renault wanted to re-establish itself in the UK first, and shore up its mainstream offerings before bringing in a more luxurious model like the Clio Initiale Paris.
The Clio Initiale Paris can be made in right-hand drive but Renault has chosen not to do so, while the next-generation Espace and its Initiale Paris variant have not been engineered with right-hand drive in mind.
Renault product-planning chief Philippe Klein said Initiale Paris would not yet be a brand in its own right as has been suggested, and would instead be a way to qualify the premium end of Renault’s vehicles.
The idea for Initiale Paris is based around the concept of ‘Art of Travel’, which Klein describes as “bringing elements to make travel more premium, more comfortable, more refined. We’re after comfort with no stress rather than packing the car full of technology as some rivals do,” he continued. “We’re not in a technology race.”
Klein said that the Initiale Paris models would have some engineering changes, although not necessarily to the suspension in the medium term.
The models would sell for a premium, but “a reasonable one over Renault versions”, said Klein.
Ultimately Renault wishes its Initiale Paris models to be seen as dedicated premium models in the same way Renaultsport models are respected as dedicated sports models.
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