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Renault brings French flair to Germany


RENAULT chose the Frankfurt Motor Show to debut its Initiale Paris concept, a car which will eventually become the new Espace MPV.

The French manufacturer says the Initiale’s flowing and contemporary design was inspired by the worlds of architecture and aeronautics. We won’t comment too much until we see it in the flesh, but first impressions aren’t bad. It’s rather clear on what it is and we do like the addition of a few brawny details meant to make it look more SUV-ish.

When it comes to MPVs, it’s all about the interior and the Initiale doesn’t disappoint. Passengers enter via rear-hinged doors with the help of a motorised running board and are treated to luxurious armchair seats in the first two rows.The floor blends matt wood with high-tech aluminium set in a regular pattern.

Drivers are treated to uncluttered instruments and a centre console that gives the impression that it’s floating above the cabin floor. The console houses two screens displaying videos and information on points of interest in the surrounding area.  Passengers are further treated by the addition of a bespoke Bose sound system designed specifically for the Initiale. It is equipped with 32 speakers including two subwoofers. Bass, mid-range and treble are processed independently by specific speakers, controlled by the digital amplifier that manages the signal according the acoustic characteristics of the cabin.

The third row is more traditional in the sense that it houses a bench for two people. The seat can also be partly or completely folded down to increase luggage space.
The Initiale concept is powered by a dCi turbo-diesel powerplant mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, but Renault is looking at other powertrain options that offer more power and better fuel economy.

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