“Revolution” on the march. As part of its new concept, Renault intends to increase margins by reducing production costs. Of course, through the unification of the model range and the rejection of unpopular models. How this will happen can be seen in the example of the new Espace.
The car is built on the CMF-B platform and is an elongated analogue of last year’s debutant Austral. The new Espace is 212mm longer (4722mm), 18mm wider (1843mm) and 27mm taller (1645mm) than the Austral. The distance between the axles has grown from 2667 to 2738 mm, and in addition to the meter-long overhangs (925 mm in front and 1059 mm in the rear), there is also a semi-independent beam on the rear axle: four-wheel drive is not provided. “Multi-link” is available only for top versions with a 4Control rear axle steering, which, by turning the wheels at an angle of up to 5 ° (the previous Espace had 3.5 °), reduces the turning radius from 11.6 to 10.4 m.
However, compared to the fifth Espace (4859 x 1888 x 1677 mm; wheelbase – 2884 mm), the new crossover is still noticeably more compact, but the ground clearance has increased from 16 to 18 cm. The dynamics of the new car is also worse. A monocab with a “turbo four” 1.8 (225 hp, 300 Nm) and a seven-speed “robot” could accelerate to “hundreds” in 7.6 s and develop 224 km / h, and the new Espace is available only in a hybrid version based on 1 .2-liter “turbo engine” (130 hp, 205 Nm) with a starter-generator (18 kW, 50 Nm) and a traction electric motor (50 kW, 205 Nm), which is installed behind the three-shaft transmission housing and is powered by lithium -ion battery with a capacity of 2 kWh. The peak return of the installation is 200 l. s., however – even despite the lower curb weight (Espace weighs 1587–1698 kg, depending on equipment; the monocab weighed from 1633 to 1833 kg) – acceleration to 100 km / h takes 8.8 s, and the maximum speed is limited at around 175 km/h
But the crossover turned out to be more economical: with an average consumption of 4.6 l / 100 km in the WLTP cycle (this is three liters less than the previous Espace), a 55-liter tank allows you to drive up to 1100 km without refueling.
When buying, it will be possible to refuse third-row seats: this option is free. The sofa on the second row moves in the range of 220 mm (the backrest is adjustable in the range of 31 °), however, even in the five-seater version with the seats pushed forward as far as possible, the useful volume of the trunk will be 777 liters (677 liters for the seven-seater version with the “gallery” folded; 581 and 477 l, respectively, with the sofa pushed back all the way), while the previous Espace in a two-row configuration offered no less than 785 hp. The seven-seater crossover has 159 liters of useful volume behind the third row, while the same version of the previous generation has 247 liters. The cabin has several storage compartments with a total volume of 39 liters.
As planned by the engineers, passengers should not notice the reduction in size – it was the cargo compartment that was sacrificed. For example, the headroom for second-row passengers has increased from 308 to 321 mm, the distance from the driver’s pillow to the headlining has increased from 907 to 958 mm (923 mm with a panoramic roof), and for second-row passengers this figure is 919 mm (892 mm for cars with “panorama”). However, the internal distance between the racks has been reduced from 1356 to 1096 mm, so the seats are located somewhat closer.
Instead of a transmission selector, a rest handle is located on the central tunnel, and the selector itself is mounted on the steering column
You can distinguish Espace from Austral not only by increased overhangs, but also by a radiator grille with vertical slats – this will be the case for the Iconic and Techno versions, and in the more expensive of these versions, the crossover has a dark decor and 20-inch wheels instead of regular R19.
The car in the most expensive configuration Esprit Alpine differs in decor and trim materials
The most equipped Esprit Alpine equipment is distinguished by a checkered grille. However, already in the basic configuration there are matrix headlights, a projection display, a 12.3-inch instrument panel display and a 12-inch vertical screen of the OpenR multimedia system, massage of the driver’s seat, electric fifth door and much more. The optional panoramic sunroof instead of a blind has an auto-dimming function and protection from ultraviolet things.
Of course, in order to unify with Austral, the assembly of the model will be transferred. If the fifth Espace was produced in France, then the new crossover will be installed on the assembly line of the enterprise in the Spanish Palencia. Orders will be open this spring.