The new car, launched at the Geneva motor show, combines elements of SUV styling in an MPV format.
“If we can't sell a beautiful, sexy car with 20-inch wheels as standard, then I don't know what will work," said van den Acker.
“If any car has a chance in the MPV sector then this surely is it. It brings some life and joy to the sector. If we'd unveiled a standard minivan we'd be dead. Now we have a great opportunity.
“We need to work harder than our opposition to stand out - and the Scenic demonstrates that."
The Scenic has the same 20in wheel diameter regardless of model. The tyre is narrower than average, but its big diameter provides a decent footprint, as does the tyre’s design, which has been developed by Michelin and Continental.
Apart from obviating the need to develop different chassis set-ups for different wheels, this one-size-fits-all approach allows the styling to be optimised around that wheel size, while the narrowness reduces drag and rolling resistance. The tyre has also be developed to provide a good ride. Most noticeable, though, is the Scenic’s sexier styling, which may well win back some sales.