New 2023 Renault Espace gets official teaser ahead of spring reveal
The Espace will return as an SUV to sit above the Renault Austral
Renault helped kickstart the people carrier segment back in 1984 with the first Espace but the new model will move into the SUV sector as a larger alternative to the brand’s new Austral.
The fifth-generation Espace has already been spotted testing on the road but these latest images give us our best look yet at the new mid-sized family SUV. We can see the side profile is similar to the Austral, incorporating virtually identical headlight and rear light signatures. There’s also a rear spoiler and visible haunches above the wheel arches which Renault says “contributes to the vehicle's slender appearance and elegance.”
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The similarities between the Espace and Austral aren’t surprising given they share the same CMF-CD platform. The Espace is actually 190mm longer than the Austral and a tiny bit longer than the Nissan X-Trail – which also utilises the same architecture.
While the bodystyle has transitioned from the traditional MPV we’d associate with the Espace name, Renault says the new car has “the same successful genetics of its predecessors”. There will be five and seven-seat models to choose from – to help it stand out as a more practical offering compared to the five-seat only Austral.
Unlike the similarly-sized X-Trail, the Austral won’t use Nissan’s e-Power engines, with Renault preferring its own hybrid set up. The Espace should make use of the same lineup found in the Austral. Renault has hinted at a full-hybrid powertrain with gold badging in a previous teaser image. That’s likely to feature a 1.2-litre, turbocharged three-cylinder petrol with up to 197bhp. Mild-hybrid power will come in the way of a 138bhp 1.2-litre petrol with 12V assistance and a 157bhp units with a 48V electric motor.
From previous spy shots taken on the road, we can deduce plenty of its styling cues. The front end isn’t likely to change much from the Austral and neither are the flanks, until you get to the C-pillar.
At the rear we can see a much less rakish rear window, allowing for more headroom for a third row of passengers. The rear lights look to be retained, as does the overall boot lid shape and number plate surround.
The new Espace won’t make its way over to the UK, so the smaller Austral will continue to be the flagship SUV over here.
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