Previously referred to as the Grand Austral, the new Espace will pick up where the namesake MPV left off. The sixth-gen model will capitalise on the success of sport utility vehicles and move away from the MPV genes dating back to the original 1984 model. The outgoing model already had SUV traits, and its successor will abandon the MPV cues while retaining the third row. The seven-seat version will be available alongside a five-seat model.
We're being told the 2024 Espace will have an overall length of 4.72 metres (185.8 inches). While cars generally tend to grow in size with the next-generation model, that won't be the case here as the revamped vehicle will be 14 centimetres (5.5 inches) shorter than the MPV it's bound to replace. Despite being more compact, the company with the diamond logo says the interior width of 2.48 metres (97.6 inches) will be slightly larger than before. Renault likely refers to the usable interior length though rather than width.
It's unclear whether the new model has been engineered for right-hand-drive markets taking into consideration the old one was LHD-only. Since the Espace is expected to be a stretched iteration of the Austral, logic tells us Renault will install the steering wheel and pedals on the other side of the dashboard.
The vast majority of design changes are likely to occur aft the C-pillar where the Espace should have a longer rear overhang to accommodate a third row. A less steeply raked window is planned for better headroom for rearmost passengers and to increase the cargo capacity. The almost flat roofline seen in the new teaser suggests the interior room has been maximised.
The original official preview released by Renault showed the redesigned Espace badge with a gold-like finish for the last "e." That suggests it'll inherit the hybrid powertrain from the smaller Austral where a turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine works with an electric motor for a combined output of 160 bhp or 200 bhp.
We're also expecting to see the Austral's 1.3-litre mild-hybrid gasoline engine with 140 bhp and 160 bhp. A diesel powertrain seems unlikely considering Renault isn't selling one for the smaller vehicle. The four-wheel steering system offered in the Kadjar replacement should prove to be even more useful on the Espace taking into account its larger body. Cheaper Austral versions come with a torsion beam rear suspension while the more expensive models feature a multi-link arrangement.
Renault plans to unveil the sixth-generation Espace in early spring, so look for an official debut in March.