Renault has unveiled the latest Espace model with a full hybrid drive system. Available in both 5- and 7-seater options, this new model is more compact and lighter than its predecessor, weighing in at 215 kg less. Equipped with a powerful 146 kW/199 hp E-Tech full hybrid powertrain, Renault promises a fuel consumption of only 4.7 liters per 100 kilometers and CO2 emissions as low as 104 grams per kilometer in the lightest version.
As an automotive enthusiast and a college professor, I must say that I am impressed with Renault's latest offering. The new Renault Espace is based on Allianz's specially developed CMF-CD platform, ensuring excellent driving characteristics with the highest level of safety equipment. The hybrid SUV has up to 32 driver assistance systems, including Multi-Sense for customizing the driving experience and interior ambiance and 4Control advanced all-wheel steering for even more driving pleasure.
Renault's CEO, Fabrice Cambolive, has stated that the new Renault Espace is "a key model for our rise to a higher class." This model carries the DNA of the five previous generations, combined with a first-class appearance, high comfort, and a homely and light-flooded interior. Moreover, it meets customers' new requirements with an exemplary hybrid engine and a unique multimedia experience.
With an overall length of 4.72 meters, the new Renault Espace is 14 centimeters shorter than its predecessor and 32 millimeters lower. Yet, the passenger compartment is 2.48 meters longer up to the third row. The second-row bench seat can be moved lengthways by 220 millimeters and is divided into two independent units in a 60:40 ratio. The knee room is up to 321 millimeters, and the backrest can be tilted by up to 31 degrees, providing additional comfort to passengers.
The third row of seats can accommodate two people and can be expanded by pushing the seats in the second row forward using the Easy Access function. With the sliding bench seat in the second row and the folding seats in the third row, the trunk volume can be adapted to the respective needs, creating a flat loading area. The seats are made of high-quality materials and are ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and support.
The Espace's multimedia system is another highlight, offering a unique and immersive experience. The model is equipped with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 9.3-inch vertical touchscreen display, which houses the infotainment system. The system includes features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a wireless smartphone charging pad.
Now let's talk about the E-Tech Full Hybrid 200, which is the driving force behind this new model. The powertrain is based on a 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine with a displacement of 1.2 liters that delivers 96 kW/131 hp and a torque of 205 Nm. The engine is supported by two electric motors, with the main unit delivering 50 kW/68 hp, which also mobilizes 205 Nm of torque and is used for propulsion. It is fed by a 2 kWh/400 V lithium-ion battery. The system also includes a secondary high-voltage starter generator with 18 kW/25 hp (50 Nm) to start the combustion engine and change gears.
The system allows up to 80 percent of all routes in city traffic to be covered purely electrically, thanks to the high recuperation performance. The geolocation and networked map data provide the battery management system with additional information so that the energy from the electric motor can be used optimally. The clutchless multi-mode transmission has two gears for the electric drive and four gears for the combustion engine. Gear changes take place automatically and without the driver having to do anything.
The E-Tech Full Hybrid 200 allows for all-electric and serial and parallel hybrid modes, depending on the energy requirement, power output, battery charge level, and activated driving program.
The new Renault Espace hybrid SUV combines style, comfort, performance, and sustainability in a single package. The full hybrid powertrain delivers excellent fuel efficiency and low emissions, making it an ideal choice for environmentally conscious drivers. The model also offers a refined driving experience, advanced safety features, and a modern and spacious interior. The new Renault Espace is a key model for Renault's rise to a higher class and a must-have for those searching for a premium and versatile vehicle.