Renault Espace

Renault Espace
Renault Espace Initiale Paris ENERGY dCi 160 EDC (V) – Frontansicht, 18. Oktober 2015, Düsseldorf.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerRenault
Production1984–present
Body and chassis
ClassLarge MPV (M) (1984–2014)
Mid-size luxury crossover (J) (2015–present)[1]
Body style5-door MPV (1984–2014)
5-door SUV (2015–present)[1]

The Renault Espace is a mid-size luxury crossover[1][2] manufactured by Renault currently in its fifth generation.

The first three generations Espace was among the first contemporary minivans or MPVs and were manufactured by Matra for Renault. The Renault Grand Espace is a long-wheelbase (LWB) version with increased rear leg room and boot size. The name "Espace" means "space" in French.

In February 2012, the Espace was retired in the United Kingdom, as part of a cost cutting plan.[3]

Espace I (1984–1991)

Espace I
Paris - Retromobile 2014 - Renault Espace I - 1984 - 003.jpg
1984 Espace 2000 TSE
Overview
Production1984-1991
AssemblyRomorantin, France (Matra)
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive / four-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine
Pre facelift Renault Espace diesel

The Espace's design was originally conceived in the 1970s by the British designer Fergus Pollock, who was working for Chrysler UK, at its design centre at Whitley in Coventry.[4] Later, Matra, which was affiliated with Simca, the then French subsidiary of Chrysler, was involved in partnership in the design, spearheaded by Greek designer Antonis Volanis.

The Espace was originally intended to be sold as a Talbot, and to be a replacement for the Matra Rancho leisure activity vehicle. Early prototypes used Simca parts, and hence featured a grille reminiscent of the Simca 1307 (Chrysler Alpine).

In 1978, six years before the Espace went into production, Chrysler UK and Simca were sold to the French company PSA Peugeot Citroën, which phased out Simca within a decade because of falling sales. PSA decided the Espace was too expensive and too risky a design to put into production, so it was given to Matra, which took the idea to Renault.

The Matra concept became the Renault Espace. The design featured a fibreglass body mounted on a warm-galvanised steel chassis, using the same technique and assembly line at the factory as the Talbot Matra Murena. The introduction of the Espace required the relatively small factory to cease the production of the Murena to make room for the Espace.

The Espace was eventually launched by Renault in July 1984. After a slow start, a mere nine Espaces were sold in the first month,[5] consumers realised the benefits of the MPV concept and the Espace became popular. It was sold in the United Kingdom from August 1985. In October 1984 the turbodiesel versions Turbo D and Turbo DX arrived. To accommodate the diesel engine, these have a protruding grille and a correspondingly larger front bumper.

Phase I turbodiesel, showing the larger front grille

In 1984, American Motors Corporation (AMC) announced it would begin to market the front wheel drive Espace in the United States.[6][7] The minivan was exhibited to consumers at the 1985 Chicago Auto Show, but AMC's negotiations with Matra continued over the vehicle's import pricing.[8] Plans for the Espace to be launched in the U.S. ended with the purchase of AMC by Chrysler.

In 2004, BBC's motoring show Top Gear set up a race between two Espaces, a Toyota Previa, a Toyota MasterAce, a Mitsubishi Space Wagon, and a Nissan Serena. The Espaces came first and second.

Facelift

Renault Espace facelift
Renault Espace facelift

Building upon its success, the Espace was revamped in 1988, with most of the Talbot/Simca content being replaced by equivalent Renault parts. The chassis and mechanical components of the car remained largely unchanged.

The most obvious cosmetic exterior difference, between the very first Espaces and the revamped post 1988 models, were the changed headlights: the forward slanting lights with orange indicator casing of the original Espace were replaced with backward slanting lights, with a clear indicator casing.

Along with the changes in design, a four-wheel drive version called Quadra was also introduced.[9]

Grancar Futura

Brazilian Ford Concessionaire Grancar, in cooperation with Toni Bianco, developed a faithful copy of the original Espace in Brazil in 1990. Called the Grancar Futura, it was powered by four-cylinder engines (AP1800/AP2000) from Ford/Volkswagen's local lineup, while using the dashboard from the Ford Del Rey and the Escort's fuel tank. With Renault upset about intellectual property infringement and market liberalization undercutting the car's raison d'être, the Futura came to an end in late 1991 after 159 cars had been built.[10]

Other Languages
български: Рено Еспас
čeština: Renault Espace
español: Renault Espace
فارسی: رنو اسپاس
français: Renault Espace
hrvatski: Renault Espace
Bahasa Indonesia: Renault Espace
italiano: Renault Espace
Nāhuatl: Renault Espace
Nederlands: Renault Espace
português: Renault Espace
русский: Renault Espace
Simple English: Renault Espace
slovenčina: Renault Espace
Türkçe: Renault Espace
українська: Renault Espace