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Next Renault Espace out of bounds for Australia

No go: The Renault Initiale Paris concept is thought to be the basis for the next Espace, but don’t hold your breath for an Australian version.

Renault Espace crossover replacement on the way for Europe but not Australia

24 Jul 2014

RENAULT Australia would like to include the next, more SUV-like Espace people-mover replacement in its local armoury once the seven-seater goes into production next year, but it is unlikely to get the vehicle as a competitor for the Peugeot 5008 and Citroen C4 Grand Picasso.

Based on the Initiale Paris concept shown at the Frankfurt motor show last year, the new family bus is due in European showrooms in the middle of next year as a replacement for the ageing Espace in Europe where it has plied its trade since 2003.

But Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar told GoAuto that Renault had “poured cold water” on proposals for local sale, telling him the vehicle would not be available to Australia.

“There is a lot of suggestion that the next-generation Espace will be more of a crossover than a people-mover, and if we use that concept car (Initiale Paris) as a guide, it would seem to point in that direction,” he said.

“That would be very interesting for us – we have investigated that somewhat – but at present, the next generation Espace is not available to us.”

United Kingdom reports suggest a right-hand-drive version of the next Espace will not be built any time soon.

As Renault executives said when unveiling the concept in Frankfurt, the people-mover market is in decline, while SUVs and crossovers are making ground globally.

The concept was 4850mm long, which makes it about 300mm longer than its French competitors. The production model is said to be around the same size as the concept.

The new vehicle reportedly will sit on the same modular platform as the new Nissan Qashqai and X-Trail, and be powered by a new fuel-efficient twin-diesel engine with 400Nm of torque.

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