It has the color of Space, the volume of Space...but is it really Space? To paraphrase a well-known slogan, the new Espace, sixth in name, will force you to ask this question. We already wrote it on February 15th. By closely examining the family photo bringing together the six generations, we retain at least this continuous line between the windshield and the bonnet for four of them. But since version 5, the break in line and therefore in concept has been accomplished. It is therefore no longer, with its two volumes seen in profile, a minivan, but rather an elongated and lowered SUV, sometimes dachshund-style, since there will be two versions, 5 or 7 places.
Does it really matter? Not so much, since the variable layout of the furniture, which was also removable, in the first Espaces escaped a few users who had not been introduced to this feature. It was used very little and even sometimes ignored by its owners, even though this concept required a specific structure, manufactured at exorbitant prices in Romorantin at Matra. From Espace 5, which borrows most of the Scénic, we have a sense of savings at Renault where the newcomer can pass on the Spanish lines of Palencia.
That's good, it's also where the very deserving Renault Austral is assembled, which shares with the new Espace (Renault speaks of "New Space", evading the article!) the CMF-CD Alliance platform. It opens up the interesting possibility of having four-wheel steering which, at the top of the range, will give this large vehicle a turning circle of Clio. This saves time and money, but the main thing is not there, it is in the weight of the machine. Saving no less than 215 kg compared to its predecessor, the Espace 6 is well equipped to face the rigors of European emissions, especially since it is equipped with a very powerful 200 hp E-Tech full hybrid engine. efficient.
Its low consumption according to the official standard (4.6 l / 100 km) "allows a range of up to 1,100 kilometers with a full tank, without recharging" adds Renault learnedly. And how since it is a hybridization automatically recharged by deceleration, braking and, if necessary, by the heat engine, all being managed by an "intelligent" automatic gearbox. The driver being a nerd, he can calmly rely on the "AI" to make the most of the 3-cylinder 1.2 l turbocharged petrol engine with 130 horsepower (96 kW) and 205 Nm of torque and two electric motors who come to support him.
Follow well, the first electric block and also the main one provides 50 kW or 70 horsepower and 205 Nm. It is powered by a 2 kWh/400V lithium-ion battery to ensure electric driving. The second electric motor serves as a high-voltage starter and, with 25 horsepower and 50 Nm of torque, takes care of engine starts and gear changes. This substitute can achieve up to 80% driving time in town, generating, according to Renault, up to 40% fuel savings.
The manufacturer promises a driving sensation close to an electric one in the city, the thermal coming to fulfill its office as soon as one approaches the road. We can do it without recharging anxiety and in the long run as mentioned above and with the family, because three rows of seats (free option) can accommodate up to seven people on board. The passenger compartment is the result of a small feat because, on a car 14 cm shorter (4.72 m) than the current version, the habitable length progresses to reach 2.48 m. Row 2 slides 260 mm and has an "easy access" function to sneak up to the two 3rd row seats, which can be folded into the floor. Enough to increase the trunk from 159 l to 777 l, or even 1,818 l with all seats folded down.
A glazed roof without crossbars but fixed will be offered as well as a multitude of equipment and driving aids which, from the entry-level Techno range, include the 24-inch Open R screen, the motorized tailgate, the induction phone charger, 19-inch wheels, Isofix mountings on the second row side seats and the safety pack including blind spot warning devices. Then, Esprit Alpine or Iconic deliver more advanced finishes with leather, head-up vision of the instruments, massaging seats, etc. Enough to pamper the customer and make them forget the original Space, a formidable engineering vehicle far removed from contemporary realities.