The replacement for the Espace large minivan will an SUV-styled crossover, according to Renault design chief, Laurens van den Acker. Moreover, he added that the Espace successor will combine minivan and SUV characteristics as it needs to be more relevant on the market. Apparently, this move is made because people are more attracted by SUVs and high driving positions and these customers are switching from minivans and hatchbacks to crossover models.
For those who don’t know, the first-generation Espace opened the minivan segment back in 1984 but times changed since then and the current model is not quite a best seller. Renault managed to sell only 3,014 units of the Espace in Europe in the first four months of 2013 and sales are down 35 percent from the same period last year.
The French manufacturer will show a concept version of the new Espace at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and the new model is expected to come with high-end features. According to Renault concept car director, Axel Breun, the new Espace will not have a brutal design as the cars we see today.
Last month, Renault announce that it will invest 420 million euros to build the Espace and the next Laguna at its factory in Douai, northern France.
The new Espace will be built on the new CFM1 modular platform developed by Renault and Nissan and the production is expected to begin next year. Furthermore, Renault is also planning to introduce the Espace in China, where it will join the Koleos compact SUV, Laguna, Megane, Fluence and Scenic.