PARIS -- Renault has repositioned the Espace, Europe's first minivan when it was launched in 1984, as a midsize SUV with a focus on efficiency and interior flexibility.
The new Espace, the sixth generation of the model, will be launched this summer in France, the automaker said Tuesday when it revealed the model. Renault has not announced a price.
It will replace the slow-selling Koleos as the midsize/large SUV (see chart, below) in Renault's lineup. Koleos sales fell to 4,708 in 2022, according to Dataforce, and were 5,840 in 2021.
The Espace, which will be available in five- and seven-seat configurations, is closely related to the Austral compact SUV, which was launched last year. The Espace and Austral are built in the same factory in Palencia, Spain.
Like the Austral, the Espace uses the latest version of the Renault-Nissan Alliance's CMF-C/D platform, which has been optimized for a full-hybrid powertrain. At 4,722 mm long, the Espace is 140 mm longer than the Austral overall; its 2,738 mm-long wheel base is 70 mm longer than the Austral's.
The two models will share drivetrains, with the main powerplant being Renault's E-Tech full hybrid, based on a 1.2-liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine with 130 hp. It is coupled to Renault's clutchless transmission with two electric motors -- one is a starter/generator -- for a total output of 200 hp.
Renault has not said if it will offer non-hybrid versions of the Espace, but the Austral has a 48-volt mild hybrid gasoline engine option.