Clio supermini will spawn Meriva rivalling mini MPV
23 September 2003

Renault will launch a new mini-MPV at the Paris Motor Show next September to compete with the Vauxhall Meriva and Fiat Idea. It will go on sale in the UK shortly afterwards.
The car will be the first new-generation Clio to be based on the B-platform shared with the new Nissan Micra; the next-generation Clio supermini will not appear until early 2005.
The new MPV is presaged by the two Be Bop concept cars Renault displayed at the Frankfurt show, pictured below. Although production versions will neither look like them nor contain as many innovations, we can expect to see a fresh take on what Renault calls the ‘four-metre MPV’. Expect Scénic styling cues, but with a front end all of its own.
Surprisingly, given its success with the Espace and Scénic, Renault is late with its mini-MPV. Design chief Patrick le Quément said Renault was diverted by its deal with Nissan. ‘People left for Nissan, projects were delayed. But I think it was worth it.’
The Be Bop concepts show where Renault is headed with its mono-volume cars in the future. There are 10 design patents on this car, ranging from the rising glass upper tailgate to a boot floor that slides nearer to the rear when the lower tailgate is dropped.
Ultra-slender seats are side-mounted to a rigid central tunnel running the length of the car. This allows massive legroom for the occupants of the pair of rear chairs, whose compactness allows them to be folded under the front seats, creating a vastly more roomy and versatile cabin.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK