Appreciating The Practicality Of The Renault Espace

Renault have a history of designing practical, efficient vehicles. A car that signified that approach was the Renault Espace. Lightweight and spacious, the Espace had a pragmatic design that made it one of the stand out cars of the 1980s. We’re looking into how the Espace was created.


The person responsible for designing the car, Fergus Pollock, came up with the concept in the 1970s. The British designer was working for Chrysler UK at the time. Eventually, Pollock partnered up with Greek designer Antonis Volanis. Originally, the Espace was meant to be sold as a Talbot and replace the Matra Rancho, with prototypes using Simca parts. However, Chrysler UK and Simca were sold to PSA Peugeot Citroen. PSA decided the Espace was too expensive to design, so the idea passed over to Renault. Renault worked on a car that featured a fibreglass body mounted onto a steel chassis. The technique used to make it was similar to the Talbot Matra Murena. After several years of development, the Espace was launched in 1984. The car got off to a slow start, as only nine were sold in the first month. Customers soon realised the benefits of an MPV concept and sales picked up. Motorists were drawn to the spacious interior and wide design. The Espace came with plenty of storage room and could easily fit a family. The original model sold in the UK from 1985. It received a facelift in 1988, coming with altered headlights.

Other versions 

In 1991, a revised version of the Espace was launched. It came with a new dashboard and improved interior. The next upgrade came in the shape of the Espace F1, which appeared in 1995. The car celebrated Renault’s involvement in Formula One racing. The car made use of a lightweight carbon fibre F1 style chassis and was combined with a carbon-fibre reinforced Espace J63 body. The V10 engine allowed the F1 to reach 0 – 62 mph in 2.8 seconds.The third and fourth generation Espaces were released in 1996 and 2002 respectively. The car was finally retired in the UK in 2012 as part of a cost-cutting plan.