This is Renault’s replacement for the ageing Espace MPV, which is intended to give the company more than a foothold in Europe’s profitable premium large car market. The new seven-seater is undergoing hot-weather testing ahead of its launch, which is expected in the early summer of 2015.
Nothing much is known yet about the mechanical make-up of the production model, other than that it is based on a new Renault-Nissan platform, which can be scaled in size from about 4.4m to 5m in length. The production version will be just under 4.9m.
Most versions of the so-far-unnamed car are likely to get a new, downsized and twin-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine hooked up to an automatic push-button transmission.
The new range-topping model was previewed last September at the Frankfurt show as the Initiale Paris concept. At the time, Renault said that the ‘Initiale Paris’ concept behind the new range-topper was “prestige, but without excess. Renault is fully expressing its intention to carve out its rightful place in the premium segment. It embodies Renault’s vision of premium cars”.