The Espace, Renault's flagship model, has undergone a comprehensive transformation. The new Renault Espace combines the sweeping lines of a large crossover with an elegant yet robust stance. The brand's innovative new crossover places the emphasis on emotion and takes its inspiration widely from the Initiale Paris concept car which was presented at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Like previous generations of the model in the course of its 30-year long career, a large, brightly-lit cabin and comfort are the cornerstones of the new Espace which will also appeal thanks to fluid lines that suggest the pleasure enjoyed behind the steering wheel, as well as to its convivial cabin and floating console. Both the five- and seven-seat versions feature ingenious interior modularity and meticulous attention has been paid to detail with regard to the new car's design and build.
Driving enjoyment has been boosted thanks to the new Espace's agile, dynamic performance which is particularly surprising for its size thanks to extensive work on weight saving (it is up to 250kg lighter than the previous Espace) and the Renault Multi-SenseÂ® system. This new system coordinates the different technologies devoted to driving pleasure and travelling comfort, including the 4ControlÂ® chassis, electronic damper management and cabin lighting and sound ambiences that the driver can personalise and select to match his or her mood of the moment.
The new Espace, the poise of a crossover with fluid, elegant lines
Thirty years ago, the Renault Espace revolutionised the automotive world. Today, the new Espace has evolved to become an elegant crossover. To the agile handling and modularity of a family vehicle, it adds enhanced style, presence and driving pleasure, in keeping with the shifting demands and expectations of motorists. Thanks to the innovations it packs and the emotions it stimulates, the new Espace crossover is, more than ever, the embodiment of the Renault brand's design renaissance.
EXTERIOR: FLUID, ELEGANT LINES AND AN IMPRESSION OF STRENGTH
By breaking away from its conventional MPV form to adopt the dynamic lines of a crossover instead, the new Renault Espace exudes unmistakable presence. Standing at 4.85 metres in length (in both its five and seven-seat forms) and 1.87 metres wide, the new Espace crossover is generously proportioned. Its contained height of 1.68 metres (63 mm lower than the current-generation Espace) and high waist line imbue it with a streamlined stance. This impression is accentuated by the vehicle's long wheelbase (2.88 metres, 16mm longer than the current Grand Espace) which also provides a more spacious interior. This impression of aerodynamic efficiency is confirmed by the newcomer's low drag credentials, namely a Cd of 0.30 and a CdA of 0.845 sq. metres.
Renault's new crossover is status-enhancing without going to excess and expresses a combination of:
Dynamism, thanks to the design of its front end and generous shoulders
Full LED headlight technology (Light Emitting Diode) is standard equipment for all versions of the model. The headlight units incorporate two Pure Vision LED modules which fulfil the functions of dipped and main beam lights. This technology endows the new Espace with lights that are both compact and extremely efficient. The precise and intense ray emits a light that is close to that of daylight. Twenty per cent more powerful than a halogen beam, it makes a significant improvement to night- time vision.
The muscular impression exuded by the new Renault Espace's side view is heightened by its pronounced wheel arches which house a range of standard wheels with up to 19-inch rims, and even up to 20 inches as an option.
The chrome side window surround suggests the slender form of a feather, while the rear quarter pillar suggests the silhouette of an aircraft tail. The careful integration of the door mirrors - set back from the base of the windscreen - marks an original approach to rearward vision that is characteristic of the Renault Espace's heritage.
To permit light to pour in from the sky, the new Espace comes with a standard 2.8 square metre LumiÃ¨re panoramic windscreen which incorporates a fixed glass roof over the front seats. A panoramic roof will be available as an option.
At the rear, the new Espace benefits from generously dimensioned tail lights. Their chiselled light guides and 'brushstroke' pattern provide Renault's new crossover with an assertive and striking lighting signature at the back, as well.
A low roof line further contributes to the new Espace's streamlined look and offsets the slightly higher ground clearance (16cm, 4cm more than the current generation Espace). The generous wheelbase of 2.88 metres (16mm longer than the current Grand Espace) adds to the impression of dynamism, while at the same time freeing up additional cabin space.
INTERIOR: HIGH-TECH, COMFORT AND WELLBEING
The focal element of the innovative passenger compartment of versions equipped with EDC transmission is its floating console which fits seamlessly with the design of the new Renault Espace's cabin. Deliberately simple and uncluttered, it houses all of the essential controls which fall readily to hand: a multi-function rotary control, the Multi-SenseÂ® system's shortcut key, the push-button assisted parking brake and the cruise control / speed limiter switch. The console is accentuated by light guides. The cabin's high-tech feel is further accentuated by a choice of four trim decor overlays and the flawless integration of the large, 8.7-inch, vertically-positioned display for the standard fitment R-Link 2Â® multimedia system.
The compact size of the EDC transmission's gear lever, which activates the electronic 'shift by wire' gear changes, frees up space for the floating console. The futuristic design of this gear lever is redolent of the aeronautical industry, while its asymmetric form imbues it with an original, almost sculptural feel. Its original ergonomic design and pleasing touch make it a functional wrist rest from which to use the R-Link 2Â® system.
In front of the driver, shielded by a cowling, sits a configurable display of entirely digital instruments with a high-resolution TFT screen instead of conventional dials. This system enables the driver to select which data is shown and how it is displayed. Within the driver's line of vision (at a focal distance from the eyes of two metres), like the instrumentation of an aircraft, the colour head-up display projects an image containing current speed, navigational information, over speed warnings and diverse driving aids.
Meanwhile, the cabin's customisable ambient lighting contributes actively to the sense of wellbeing inside the new Renault Espace. Depending on the selected driving mode, it is capable of adopting a green, blue, yellow, red or purple hue. Direct light guides outline the centre console to underline its high-tech feel, while indirect lighting underneath the console heightens the impression of lightness and emphasises the space available beneath its arch.
Integrated light sources at the top of the B- and C-Pillars accentuate the new Espace's volume. The dominant colour of the instruments and R-LinkÂ® display, driven by the Multi-SenseÂ® system, is that of the chosen ambient lighting. This creates either an energising or a soothing atmosphere which can be adapted as a function of the time of day or the driver's mood of the moment.
The length of the room available inside the cabin plays a major role in the immediate impression of interior space. This space benefits all occupants, especially passengers in the second row who enjoy knee room among the very best in the model's class (up to 308mm with five seats in place).
The new Espace comes with a number of ingenious storage solutions. Opposite the front seat passenger, the Renault Easy Life drawer - like that which has met with such success in Renault Captur - transforms the traditional glove box into a 12-litre large-capacity drawer that is attractive, practical and easy to access, even for the driver. It is opened by touch-control electronic unlocking. Between the two front seats, 7.4 litres of storage space are available underneath the armrest. A further 0.3 litres of stowage are to be found to the left of the steering wheel. To the right of the gearshift is a lidded 0.5-litre storage space on the console, incorporating a USB port, mini jack socket and SD card slot and a removable cup holder behind a sliding shutter.
Underneath the console is a one-litre open storage area with two cup-holders. The drawer in the lower rear part of the console can contain up to 2.5 litres and is notably handy for passengers sitting in the second row. There are also door bins with a flocked inner finish which offer 2 x 2.5 litres in the front and 2 x 0.85 litres at the rear. Boot space (five-seat version, up to the luggage cover) is 660dm3.
The new Espace also offers all-round hands-free entry. The ingenious opening and closing of the powered tailgate is triggered by a movement of the foot underneath the rear bumper. In a practical touch, the maximum degree to which the tailgate will open can be adjusted, facilitating its use in confined spaces such as underground car parks or garages.
The ultra-comfortable front seats stand out through their particularly enveloping forms, while the wider head rests heighten the sensation of comfort. The top of the seat-back tailor-matches the build of each occupant, much like the protective collar of an overcoat. In the case of the Initiale Paris version, the '10-way' adjustability (eight electrical adjustments) provides the driver and passenger with ample freedom to find the ideal seating position. The seat height, seat-back angle and lumbar support are all electronically controlled by three buttons located to the side of the seat or via the R-Link 2Â® screen. Up to six seat settings can be memorised. Fore/aft seat travel is a useful 24 centimetres, while the length of the seat cushion can be adjusted through a distance of up to six centimetres.
At the back, there are three identical individual seats for second row occupants, while the third row accommodates two extra passengers. All the rear seats fold down into the floor and can be removed altogether if necessary to provide an entirely flat load space boasting a capacity of 2,040 cubic metres (see 'One Touch Folding Seats' description below).
The new Renault Espace offers a choice between three types of ambience and interior trim that can be combined with different equipment levels (depending on the choice of individual markets).
In France, for example, there will be three different ambiences founded on four distinct equipment levels:
LIFE equipment level: Brown dashboard, leather-trimmed steering wheel, Dark Brown fabric upholstery.
In keeping with its Espace pedigree, Renault's new crossover takes a fresh approach when it comes to modular interiors and implementation. For example, the individual seats in both rear rows disappear completely into the floor. Here, too, the driver is in control: thanks to the new Renault Espace's one-touch modularity, its seats fold away - either individually or all together - with a single click or press of a button, irrespective of the position of the head rest.
This effortless modularity is very simple to use:
Remotely from the driver's seat... it is possible to visualise and select the seat(s) to be folded using the R-Link 2Â® touch screen display
Renault's intuitive and innovative connected tablet has evolved further still to deliver an enhanced driving experience. Launched in the new Espace, R-Link 2Â® is the driving force at the heart of the car's various functions:
Flawless ergonomics for in-car use: the new Espace is available as standard with the R-Link 2Â® tablet which distinguishes itself from all similar systems through its unbeatable ergonomics. It has been thought through thoroughly for motoring use, yet it is as simple to use as a conventional touch-screen tablet.
A new, larger, vertically-mounted capacitive screen: R-Link 2Â® features a large, 8.7-inch, vertically-mounted display. The capacitive screen allows easy, intuitive two-finger zooming and scrolling. The decision to mount the tablet vertically, which corresponds with the driver's view of the road, makes its menus easier to use and ensures that information is displayed clearly.
Deliberately located low down, the controls are within arm's reach, while the screen is positioned higher up, within the field of vision. Ideally situated, well lit, with clear, crisp graphics, the R-Link 2Â® screen provides the legibility and safety that are of paramount importance for use in a car.
Even more intuitively-integrated functions: In addition to the physical controls, the R-Link 2Â® display intuitively runs the technologies dedicated to the enjoyment of the driver and passengers: 4Control chassis, electronic damper control, driving aids, lighting and sound ambience and even the adjustment of the front seats (including massage settings), as well as the folding of the rear seats.
R-LinkÂ®: The control centre of the new Espace, right down to the adjustment and folding away of the seats
Powerful navigation and a range of affordable services: A pioneer of in-car navigation with Carminat and subsequently a contributor to the widespread availability of guidance technology with the Carminat TomTom Live system, Renault is now introducing 3D TomTom Live connected navigation with R-Link 2Â® which incorporates TomTom Traffic for real-time traffic information.
Renault's R-Link StoreÂ® offers a comprehensive catalogue of applications designed specifically for in-car use, including CoyoteÂ® alerts, three Michelin applications (hotels, restaurants and travel), access to social networks and the reading out loud of e-mails.
A Bose surround audio system for a completely immersive experience
Long-time partners Renault and BOSE pooled their expertise to design a specially-tailored audio system for the new Espace which, for the first time, offers BOSE Surround Sound in a Renault, courtesy of BOSE CenterpointÂ® 2 technology. This high-performance system will be available as an option from the new Espace's second equipment level upwards, and will come as a standard fitment in the Initiale Paris version.
Following the blueprint of the Initiale Paris concept car, the new Espace crossover has reached another level in the domain of audio realism, by offering a completely immersive experience with Surround Sound. The 12 high-performance loudspeakers guarantee acoustic quality close to that of a live performance. The sound field is both panoramic and precise, the voices clear and natural. The instruments sound as if each one is emanating from an exact spot on the stage, revealing new details and subtleties. The sound is full and balanced in every situation and for all occupants of the vehicle, whether they be sitting in the front or rear, on the left- or right-hand side of the car.
Multi-SenseÂ®: A technological revolution
Renault's Multi-SenseÂ® system is the device that controls and co-ordinates the input of the technologies installed in the new Espace to create an immersive and enjoyable driving experience. Most notably, it manages the 4ControlÂ® chassis, electronic damper control, steering, engine, EDC transmission, instruments, engine sound and ambient lighting.
The new Espace sees Renault explore a whole new dimension of driving enjoyment. It is a wholly immersive experience, giving rise to more sensations and putting the choice of emotions in the hands of the driver. This immediate pleasure - felt at every moment and at all speeds - is born out of a new technology conceived by Renault called Multi-SenseÂ®. In acting like an orchestra conductor, the Multi-SenseÂ® system attunes all of the technical features to be found in the new Espace to the drivers desires of the moment.
Whether the driver is seeking a sporty, calm or efficient atmosphere, the new Renault Espace is able to adapt itself accordingly, changing its personality in the blink of an eye. That also translates across to the harmonisation of the on-board ambience, particularly in terms of lighting and sound. Even the front seats are equipped to offer different types of massage.
Thanks to Renault's new Multi-SenseÂ® system, the new Espace generates the desired mood and sensations via four pre-programmed modes: 'Eco', 'Comfort', Neutral' and 'Sport', in addition to a 'Perso' mode that is freely and easily configurable.
Each setting creates and coordinates a specific driving emotion thanks to:
The engine response
Thanks to this system, the new Renault Espace carefully adapts everything to the mood and desires of the driver.
4ControlÂ® expertise at the heart of the Multi-SenseÂ® system
The 4ControlÂ® chassis (four-wheel steering) is a Renault innovation which controls the angle of the rear wheels. Out on the open road, the steering precision and stability of the car magnify driving enjoyment through corners. In built-up areas, meanwhile, the 4ControlÂ® chassis ensures an incomparable level of manoeuvrability at low speed. When parallel parking or conducting a three-point turn, its outstanding agility allows the driver to completely forget the vehicle's size.
Thanks to the 4ControlÂ® chassis, the new Renault Espace boasts one of the smallest turning circle in its class. In emergency situations, the four-wheel steering technology reassures through the sensation of the swift response it delivers. Renault is the only manufacturer to offer such a system in a crossover.
An array of technologies to the benefit of driving convenience and safety (ADAS)
The new Renault Espace packs a plethora of driving aids and safety functions designed to warn or assist the driver.
Reassuring: adaptive cruise control, active emergency braking.
Alerts: lane departure warning, safe distance alert, excess speed warning with traffic sign recognition, blind spot alert.
Assistance: front, rear and side parking sensors, rear view camera, automatic dipped and main beam headlights, head-up display, automatic parking brake, Hill Start Assist, hands-free entry and hands-free powered tailgate.
The new Renault Espace can even almost park itself on its own, thanks to the Easy Park Assist system. After helping its driver to identify a parking spot - by measuring the available space with its sensors - the device subsequently assumes full control of the steering during the manoeuvre. The Easy Park Assist function takes the wheel for parallel, diagonal and perpendicular parking. In all cases, the driver retains control of braking and acceleration during the manoeuvre.
The new Renault Espace was designed to make driving fun. Renault's engineers have refined its aerodynamics, made the vehicle significantly lighter and equipped it with efficient, latest-generation downsized engines mated to EDC dual clutch automatic transmission.
250kg lighter and 20% more economical
The new Espace crossover has achieved a significant weight saving representing as much as 250kg compared to the long version of the previous Espace. This 13 per cent reduction is evenly split between the body, chassis, powertrain and equipment (including the seats).
A new platform: the new Espace crossover sees Renault make use of its CMF (Common Module Family) modular architecture for the very first time and combines lightweight materials such as aluminium for the doors and bonnet Noryl plastic for the front wings and thermoplastics for the tailgate.
Refined aerodynamics: The Cd of 0.30 (0.031 lower than the current-generation Espace) and CdA rating of 0.845 sq. metres (down 0.086 sq. metres) yield valuable fuel efficiency savings, especially when driving on motorways.
The new Espace offers a choice between three 1.6-litre turbocharged engines - one petrol and two diesels - which are all the more efficient inasmuch as they power a particularly aerodynamic and light vehicle body. The targeted improvement in fuel consumption and C02 emissions has been achieved and exceeds 20 per cent compared with the current-generation Espace and comparable performance.
Three powertrains all with useful new technologies
The new Espace sees Renault introduce two technological advances revealed at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show on a production model:
Twin Turbo technology for the Energy dCi 160 powerplant: a small, low-inertia turbo is dedicated to performance at low revs, while the second turbo takes over at higher engine speeds. The ample torque is rapidly available to guarantee a driving experience that is smooth and lively, with excellent pick-up.
The core-range engines for Renault's new large crossover stand out through their response and pick-up performance. They are also characterised by the excellent enjoyment they deliver thanks to the six-speed EDC dual clutch transmission which is both dynamic and easy to use. The association for the first time of the Energy dCi 160, automatic EDC transmission and the various Multi-SenseÂ® driving modes combines to make the new Espace a vehicle that is totally committed to enjoyment and emotion. Finally, the Energy dCi 160 EDC unit provides the new Espace with one of the market's best fuel consumption ratings for its power output.
ENERGY dCi 130: 1.6 litres, 130hp and 320Nm torque available from 1,750rpm
This powerplant is mated to a manual six-speed gearbox. It was designed especially for motorists for whom running costs and comfort are key priorities, such as fleet customers.
ENERGY TCe 200 EDC: 1.6 litres, 200hp (147kW) and 260Nm torque available from 2,500rpm
For customers who prefer a petrol engine, the new Espace offers a new powerplant that focuses notably on dynamic performance and sensations, since the Energy TCe 200 is an evolution of the unit that powers the Clio R.S. Particularly efficient under the bonnet of the new Espace, it delivers a dynamic, sprightly drive. Mated to the new, close ratio, seven-speed EDC dual clutch transmission, it ensures brisk pick-up. Again, the combination of the Energy TCe 200 engine, automatic EDC transmission and the Multi-SenseÂ® system's Sport mode ensure optimum enjoyment for the driver.
Thanks to the new Espace's contained weight and carefully-honed aerodynamics, as well as to Renault's expertise in downsizing technologies, as proven on the race track by its engine specialists, it has been possible to equip the new Espace with a choice of 1.6-litre engines which combine driving enjoyment and low fuel consumption. The 160hp pumped out by the Twin Turbo Energy dCi 1.6 diesel engine equipped with EDC transmission and the Multi-SenseÂ® system generate the level of driving enjoyment expected of a car like the new Espace and deliver the sort of performance associated with two-litre engines.
The new Espace sees the introduction of two new gearboxes that are at the very cutting-edge of technology. The six or seven-speed automatic EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) transmissions mated to two of the three engines available for the model blend comfort, dynamic performance and response with low fuel consumption. The Multi-SenseÂ® system also influences the calibration of EDC gearshifts as a function of the selected driving style.
Stop&Start for all versions
All of the new Espace's engines are equipped with the smooth and flexible Stop&Start system, along with the recovery of deceleration energy.
A perfect grasp of sophisticated turbocharging technology is not the only parallel between the 1.6-litre Renault Energy F1 powerplant and the 1.6-litre Renault Energy dCi. The Energy dCi 160 Twin Turbo unit benefits from a number of technologies borne out of Renault's expertise in F1, most notably in terms of cooling efficiency and friction reduction:
A transverse water flow system ensures rapid and efficient cooling of the combustion chamber.
Efficiency: an efficient architecture and meticulous optimisation of the technologies, materials (aluminium, Norylâ„¢, thermoplastics) and processes employed to enable the new Espace to shed as much as 250 kilograms compared with the equivalent former generation version.
Durability: the new Espace successfully passed the most difficult tests, including a simulation of three years' worth of motoring in just three months. The programme saw the new Espace cover 5.5 million kilometres and complete 520 hours of torture testing, as well as 450 hours of climatic tests. New features such as the new Renault Espace's One Touch Folding Seats system and hands-free powered tailgate were subjected to specifically developed tests.
Absence of vibrations when slowing down: improvements have been made to ride quality thanks to a new approach to body design, enabling the new Espace to offer a particularly high standard of travelling comfort.
Precision stamping: hot stamping consists of heating the metal sheets to 850CÂ° for several minutes, before cooling them again rapidly. The result is superior mechanical strength, allowing for the sheets to be thinner. Thanks to hot stamping, the new Espace gains in quality what it saves in weight.
Rigorously fine-tuned: the new Espace's ambitious design called for precise adjustments to the body and tighter radii for the body panel creases. The Douai plant rose successfully to this challenge to enable the new Renault Espace to keep its styling-related promises.
Painstaking assembly: No fewer than 5,000 operations are carried out on each vehicle body. Above and beyond this, ongoing inspections are carried out in 45 key areas to guarantee the perfect geometry of the new Espace and the perceived quality of the vehicle's exterior.
Deep gloss paintwork: the new Espace is available in a choice of nine different body colours selected for their depth and lustre. The metallic finishes benefit from a highly durable lacquer coating. The quality of the paintwork is subjected to a rigorous 900-point inspection procedure.
Resistant, status enhancing materials: The interior of the new Espace benefits from the use of satin-effect chrome-finished parts. This enhances the appearance by limiting finger marks, in a similar way to the hard-wearing trim decor overlay that protects the centre console. Meanwhile, the seats of the new Espace's Initiale Paris version are upholstered in full-grain Nappa leather along with the steering wheel, armrests and door panel inserts.
Carefully designed appointments: Evidence of the focus on quality is provided by the attention to detail paid to certain areas, including the head-up display which stands out through its bright, multi- coloured graphics. The sound system incorporates an invisible antenna which uses avant-garde technology to ensure optimum reception. The BOSE system, meanwhile, is every bit as understated as it is acoustically advanced. Thanks to the use of full-LED Pure Vision technology, the new Espace's lights are both compact and efficient. The precise, intense beams emit a light that is 20 per cent more powerful than a halogen beam and close to that of daylight. The long-life LEDs do away with the necessity to periodically change the bulbs.