The next-generation Scenic was previewed by the R-Space concept at the 2011 Geneva motor show. Renault’s exterior design chief, Anthony Lo, said the concept made the firm re-evaluate how it viewed the needs of family car buyers.
He added that the firm “could not ignore” how well the R-Space had been received.
The next-generation Scenic is also likely to have a new SUV as a sister car, a model likely to be based on the next-generation Nissan Qashqai.
Renault marketing chief Steve Norman said the firm “needed something a bit more sturdy with genuine off-road capability” that sat between the Mégane and Laguna in size in the Scenic range.
The replacement for the Laguna is understood to still be a traditional four-door saloon, but executed in a much more contemporary way, as with the Vauxhall Insignia.
Lo said Renault would always need a D-segment saloon for its global markets, but Norman believes “the Insignia is an example of how you can do the unexpected with the right car”, hinting that a greater emphasis would be put on style with the Laguna replacement.
Norman said the current Laguna’s styling was the most likely reason why it hasn’t succeeded. “The current Laguna is the right car in the wrong clothes,” he said. “People are impressed with the quality, and the roadholding is good. But in the upper-middle market, customers will be spending upwards of £30,000 for a properly specced car. They expect it to say something about their status. If it doesn’t, you narrow the market.”The Espace replacement was put on hold in 2009, and since then Renault has re-evaluated the requirements of buyers of large family cars.
“We’re looking at a different style of car for Espace,” design chief Laurens van den Acker revealed. “It doesn’t escape us that people are leaving big MPVs for crossovers. After four generations [of Espace], it’s time for a new idea.”