Currently reading: Reinvented Renault Espace revealed
French manufacturer's MPV morphs into stylish crossover available in both five and seven-seat forms; right-hand-drive version not ruled out

The flagship Renault Espace has morphed from an MPV into a crossover, which has been seen for the first time at the Paris motor show and will go on sale towards the end of this year.

Renault justifies calling the Espace a crossover by saying its new shape combines elements of saloon, SUV and MPV, while retaining the light and space of the latter.

The new model will be available as either a five-seat or seven-seat, but neither version will come to the UK in the short term. The Espace hasn't been offered for sale here since Renault UK's model cull in 2011.

However, in the longer term Renault boss Carlos Ghosn isn't completely ruling out a right-hand-drive version.

"The new Espace is competing in a small segment, so we will start from a low level with sales and go up," he said. "We'll make sure we do well in mainland Europe before going elsewhere, we want a positive response first. We're being more progressive in strategy, setting low goals and hopefully having high achievements – it was the reverse before." 

The production Espace's design differs very little from the Initiale Paris concept revealed at last year's Frankfurt motor show. At the time, Renault bosses said the concept was "very close" to how the production variant would look.

Renault says the cabin is "brightly-lit, comfortable and modular," and features a floating centre console. The highest-spec version of the production car is expected to feature a new take on aluminium and wood trim, as well as a glazed roof to deliver the sense of space. Renault is also thought to have worked hard on seating comfort and acoustics.

This production Espace is based on the new Renault-Nissan CFM1 modular platform and is expected to measure about 4.9m in length. Most versions of the car will be powered by a new, turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine coupled to an automatic transmission operated by push buttons.

The decision to shift away from the traditional shape of the Espace is a controversial one for Renault, with the brand's design boss Laurens van den Acker telling Autocar the current-generation car – which was first introduced in 2003 – had lived "for too long".

The change to a crossover shape was designed to make the new Espace "more elegant", he added.

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Add a comment…
FastRenaultFan 26 September 2014

Well done Renault.

This looks great. Its classy and stlylish. It is still am MPV do no matter what other fancy names they want to call it just with a high side and less glass. I think it looks like a good rival for Fords S-Max and Galaxy. A pity its not going to be made in right hand drive.
bomb 26 September 2014

It's a shame...

...that Renault feel the market can't support a model like this because - personally - I think it looks really good. Quite SUV-like in profile, different to the current crop but stylish.

Most of the market for the Espace have probably moved across to the Grand Picasso by now anyway.

Ski Kid 26 September 2014

The quickest way to lose money

Will be a great buy when 3 to 6 years old assuming it does not fall apart like many French cars.My family and friendsa have had some pretty crap Citroen, Peugeot and Renaults in the past , all good until mot time.