Renault's second concept at Geneva is the R-Space, a small MPV designed to showcase how the firm’s new styling language could produce a “sporty family car”.

The 4250mm-long R-Space is the third Renault produced under the direction of new chief designer Laurens van den Acker. It’s on show in Geneva alongside the Captur SUV crossover, and both cars follow the Dezir sports car, which was one of the stars of last year’s Paris motor show.

The latest concept shows where Renault could take the design of its current small MPV, the Scenic. It has a one-box silhouette that builds on that car’s profile but includes a more rakish roofline and the new Renault design language on the headlights and grille.

The concept is slightly shorter than a regular Scenic but looks lower and more like a regular car than an MPV. Access to the rear is helped by rear-hinged ‘suicide’ doors and the lack of a B-pillar. Among the influences cited by Renault’s exterior design team are “the pent-up energy in tensed muscles” and the colours of breakfast foods such as milk, chocolate and honey.

The concept is powered by a direct-injection three-cylinder, 900cc petrol engine, equipped with stop-start and mated to a dual-clutch gearbox. It produces 107bhp and 118lb ft of torque.

The motor is one of the new generation of modular powerplants that Renault will introduce to its range from next year. The firm claims that, in the R-Space, the unit returns 76mpg and 95g/km of CO2 emissions — but it can take the 1300kg car from zero to 62mph in 11.0sec. The top speed is 124mph.

Interior features include a ‘floating’ dashboard design and a rear cabin that has been designed for children. It features a motorised cube that can change into a number of shapes — including a booster seat and a table.

There’s no word yet on manufacturing plans. However, with the Captur said to be closely linked to an eventual rival for Nissan’s Juke, it seems likely that cues from the R-Space will make it on to forthcoming Renault MPVs.

John McIlroy