Minivans aren’t going through their best moment in Europe with the prevalence of crossovers and SUVs, but Renault, a leading maker of MPVs, as they’re called across the pond, isn’t willing to give up yet.
The French have already re-invented the full-size Espace with a sleeker model featuring a modern silhouette and plenty of crossover touches like the lowered greenhouse, sculpted profile and increased ride-height.
While the Espace is Renault’s ‘halo’ minivan, it’s the smaller Scenic and its longer, seven-seater Grand Scenic sibling that count the most when it comes to sales competing in the popular compact segment.
We spied Renault testing the Scenic’s replacement in a production body hidden under the cover of camouflage. It has a slicker shape that moves away from the boxier and upright design of the current car with a narrower greenhouse, lowered bonnet and a more raked windscreen – all similar to the Espace, but unlike the latter, the new Scenic has a curvy rear and it lacks the added ground clearance (at least on this prototype).
The front end of the MPV wears Renault’s new ‘winged’ grille that should look like the one used on the latest Megane hatch revealed in Frankfurt last week.
While the interior hasn’t been caught yet, seeing the strong resemblance in design on Renault’s new Megane, Talisman and Espace, it’s safe to assume that the Scenic will sport a similarly styled dashboard with a modish center console housing a larger, vertically mounted touchscreen that will serve as a command center. Quality will also be improved.
The new Scenic will adopt the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s modular CMF platform in its longer CD variant that underpins cars like the Megane and the Qashqai. Powertrains will largely mirror those of the Megane, including a choice of 1.6-liter turbocharged petrols and diesels stretching from 110PS to 205PS paired to either manual or dual clutch automatic transmissions.
We will see the new generation of the Scenic next year, if not at the Geneva Motor Show in March, at the following Paris Auto Show in the fall.
Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops