New Renault Espace is Different, Yet the Same [Fresh Photos]

There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to the new Renault Espace that just made its debut in Paris. Not only is it a big styling departure from the previous iteration, but it’s also different in many other ways.

For instance, it looks like it sits noticeably higher than its predecessor, with clear hints of SUV in its look. In fact, it’s actually a (63 mm) lower vehicle overall, though one with a higher ground clearance. It’s also 16 mm longer than the old model and has a much improved drag coefficient of 0.30.

It’s also some 250 kg / 551 lbs lighter – that’s 13 percent less weight than before, and this coupled with the advances in powertrain technology mean it’s actually around 20 percent more efficient too. Part of the savings come from using Renault’s new Common Module Family (CMF) platform as well as employing “lightweight materials such as aluminium for the doors and bonnet Noryl plastic for the front wings and thermoplastics for the tailgate.”

All three available power choices are turbocharged 1.6-liter units. The two dCi diesels either have 130 or 160 PS, the latter employing a twin-turbo setup and coming exclusively with an automatic seven-speed EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) transmission. The petrol powered TCe 200 variant is the most potent, putting out 200 PS. It too can only be paired with the EDC, with no manual option to speak of.

Multi-Sense seems to be a big thing with the new Espace, as well. It’s a “device that controls and co-ordinates the input of the technologies installed in the new Espace to create an immersive and enjoyable driving experience.” It’s also the system that controls the 4Control all-wheel steering system it can be specced with – we know the system from the Laguna and it promises excellent maneuverability at low speeds, as well as precise handling at higher pace.

It promises improved build quality, more practicality and comfort for occupants too – the two rear rows of seats, for instance, all fold away into the floor. Safety is also key with the Espace, and it comes with all the very latest gadgets, airbags and sensors.

*Post updated with new photos from Paris Auto Show

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