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Renault R-Space concept car (2011) at 2011 Geneva motor show

By Tim Pollard

First Official Pictures

01 March 2011 10:17

Renault will show off a glimpse of its thinking for the Scenic segment with the new R-Space concept car at the 2011 Geneva motor show. It’s a 4.3m long show car that’s designed to inject some pizzazz where today’s Scenic prefers a more sober style.

The new-fangled Renault look as pioneered by incoming design chief Laurens van den Acker is present and correct: there’s a large diamond on the nose and heaps more character than the current MPV. And check out the panoramic windscreen which blends seamlessly into the roof with a chequerboard of varying transparency.

The R-Space is the latest in a string of Renault concept cars, and each is designed to represent a different life stage. The Dezir sports car was – fittingly – red, while the Juke-style Captur crossover is orange (for mountain-style ‘Explore’ mode) while the family-oriented R-Space is honey-coloured.

Inside the 2011 Renault R-Space

Handclap suicide doors open to reveal a huge opening with no B-pillar. The R-Space’s cabin is designed to represent the family home; the front-seat passengers sit in two buckets, with a sofa-style bench seat in the back.

Don’t go expecting the R-Space’s clever rear seat package to survive for production, however. Twenty-seven motors power miniature upholstered cubes which pop up or down to configure the rear space to accommodate adult passengers, children or luggage. They’re so clever, they can create booster seats, pews for adults, children or lower flat to create a flat load bay. Like the 21in wheels, this is surely an ask too far for production MPVs.

What’s under the bonnet of the Renault R-Space?

The R-Space is powered by a 900cc turbo three-cylinder. It develops 109bhp and heralds the new TCe range coming to Renaults in 2012. The 0.9 has direct-injection and stop start.

It’s yet another example of downsizing: Renault claims it mixes the performance of a 1.6, yet produces just 95g/km of CO2 and averages 76mpg. The concept car mates the engine to a twin-clutch gearbox.

Top speed? 124mph and 0-62mph takes 11sec. That shape isn’t just a huge improvement on the ditchwater styling of today’s Scenic – it’s aerodynamic too. Renault quotes a 0.28 drag coefficient.

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