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Future models - Renault - Initiale Paris

Frankfurt show: Renault Initiale Paris previews Espace

Paris match: Renault’s Initiale Paris concept features a plexiglass and aluminium roof that depicts a map of Paris.

Renault takes the people-mover up-market with Initiale Paris concept at Frankfurt

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Renault logo12 Sep 2013

RENAULT previewed the future design of its people-mover models with the Initiale Paris concept uncovered at the Frankfurt show this week.

As well as previewing the next-generation Espace MPV, the sleek concept hints at a possible Renault premium sub-brand, said to be a rival for Citroen’s DS range.

The French car-making giant says the flowing design of the Initiale Paris concept is inspired by the “worlds of architecture and aeronautics” as well as iconic Parisian landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Grand Palais.

Measuring in at 4850mm in length, the Renault is longer than French competitors the Citroen C4 Grand C4 Picasso (4590mm) and Peugeot 5008 (4529mm), but 33mm shorter than the Dodge Journey/Fiat Freemont twins.

The rounded front end features a new take on the current Renault design language that appears on the Clio hatch and Captur light-SUV, while diamond shapes appear everywhere from the air dam in the front apron to the side skirts to the spokes of the massive 22-inch wheels.

Renault says the tail-lights are shaped like the tail of an aeroplane, featuring motorised aerodynamic screens that move in a similar way to the tail fin of an aircraft.

As its name suggests, the styling of the Initiale Paris concept is heavily influenced by the city of love, with the unique plexiglass and aluminium roof depicting a map of Paris, highlighting a number of districts, arterial roads and the River Seine.

The LED head-lights incorporate a feature that causes the lights to ‘blink’ and external mirrors are replaced by slim-line cameras.

Passengers enter the MPV concept via rear-hinged doors and are treated to a suitably futuristic cabin with more nods to aviation in the form of pod-like armchair seating, and lighting guides throughout the cabin.

Renault has designed a smooth, uncluttered dash and incorporated a floating centre console, while at the rear, the third row features a bench that can be folded away for extra cargo space.

Wood veneer and chrome highlights feature throughout the cabin and Renault has teamed up with regular audio collaborator Bose to create a 32-speaker sound system.

The Initiale Paris is powered by a turbo-diesel engine mated to a dual-clutch transmission. Renault says the powertrain emits 40g/km less CO2 and uses 25 per cent less fuel than an equivalent diesel engine.

Renault says the Initiale Paris is the sixth ‘petal’ in Renault’s ‘life cycle’ design strategy that is based on “an emotional styling language that is simple, sensual and warm in equal parts”.

The current-generation Espace MPV went on sale in Europe in 2003 and overdue for a replacement, but Renault has not indicated timing for a production version of the Initiale Paris concept.

Renault Australia does not sell the Espace here and it is unclear whether it will consider a local berth for a people mover. If it did, it would compete against Citroen’s upcoming Grand C4 Picasso replacement and the Peugeot 5008.

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