The unveiling of Espace ushered in a revolution. With its unprecedented layout and fittings, would this “van” be accepted by the general public?
A slow start, but a strong finish
Between the end of 1983 and spring 1984, Renault launched two important models: Renault 25 and Espace. The former was a classic high-end saloon, while the latter boldly opened up a brand new direction—the MPV. However, sales of Espace—co-designed with Matra, who had originally approached Peugeot—got off to a slow start. Several months passed before demand really took off.
An interior overhaul
Inspired by the styling of the TGV train, Espace (French for “space”) wore its name well, bringing with it a radical reworking of cabin space. It turned the cabin into a single reconfigurable space. The rear could be changed from a little living room with reclining seats into a large luggage bay.
Having broken new ground, Renault kept its lead in the field with successive generations of Espace, with international carmakers all following suit.