Renault will launch a new luxurious trim level for its cars, but it won't come to the UK for another two years
Mark Tisshaw
11 September 2013

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.

Click here for more Frankfurt motor show news.

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Comments
8

11 September 2013

You tease us with this and a new sub-brand and then do this.... Why are they so timid about RHD markets? Surely they can share enough RHD componentry with Nissan/Infinity to justify it?

11 September 2013

they had to cut half their range because the Brit weren't buying expensive Renaults.
Some poor marketing decisions contributed - e.g. Renault Wind. I'm not sure a UK audience will embrace a car with a "Paris" badge either...

11 September 2013

I don't understand. If it is just a trim level, what's the problem in building them in RHD?
And what would be the difference over the old Initiale trim level?
First Ford, ruining Ghia and going for Vignale. Now this.
Jeep is doing it too: Limited (which was their top of the range) is now mid-range, below Overland and Summit. Isn't it easier to just make better cars than these hollow names?

11 September 2013

Renault has a history of these high-spec small cars, the Baccara, in the R5 and Clio. The problem is will most punters remember these or still associate high-spec with Renault?


11 September 2013

Let's face it, the 'Espace' is the most established (30years) and recognised large Renault. It is more 'premium' than any 25, Safrane, Vel Satis or kitted out Laguna could be, and as I have mentioned before, it should be a sub-brand or brand in its own right, in the same ways as MINI, Range Rover etc. It has kudos and respect.

So, this should be the Espace flagship (the Espace Initiale), and Renault should launch the R-Space (oh so close to being called E-Space?) and the Frendzy under the Espace brand. Initiale Paris is basically 'la depreciation time bombe',

Crikey, there was even an ESPACE F1.

12 September 2013
JIMBOB wrote:

Let's face it, the 'Espace' is the most established (30years) and recognised large Renault. It is more 'premium' than any 25, Safrane, Vel Satis or kitted out Laguna could be, and as I have mentioned before, it should be a sub-brand or brand in its own right, in the same ways as MINI, Range Rover etc. It has kudos and respect.

So, this should be the Espace flagship (the Espace Initiale), and Renault should launch the R-Space (oh so close to being called E-Space?) and the Frendzy under the Espace brand. Initiale Paris is basically 'la depreciation time bombe',

Crikey, there was even an ESPACE F1.

You have a point here, this is much same argument with 'D I S C O V E R Y', use your strengths. Even Citroen cashed in on La Godess with the DS brand.

11 September 2013

Ah Renaults take on a Citroen DS5

12 September 2013

I think Renault should concerntrate on giving us (UK) a decent range of vehicles first BEFORE lumbering us with a range that wont sell ...

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