Special Coverage

Geneva
Auto Show

GENEVA – Renault introduces a minivan, the R-Space, at the auto show here as the third in its line of six concept vehicles that are marking time until the introduction next year of a new production car, the Clio 4.

The R-Space is another entry in the “life journey” series that started with the DeZir sports car, for falling in love, and the Captur in February, a cross/utility vehicle for exploring the world. The R-Space represents starting a family and features adult front seats, with back seats full of small blocks for children to play with.

The concepts are powered by near production-ready new engines. The Captur has a 160-hp mill previewing a new Renault 4-cyl. diesel with twin turbochargers achieving 280 lb.-ft. (380 Nm) of torque at 1,750 rpm. With a double-clutch gearbox, the powertrain emits only 99 g/km of carbon-dioxide emissions.

The R-Space has a 0.9L 3-cyl. gasoline engine that emits CO2 emissions of 95 g/km, an area that has been the realm of small diesels in Europe. Among other tweaks, the turbocharged direct-injection engine has an intelligent oil pump that changes pressure, up to 58 psi (4 bar), depending on the driver’s demand for torque.

Chief designer Laurens van den Acker has promised the concept cars clearly will forecast the look of the fourth-generation Clio, with a wide grille that gives Renault’s diamond-shaped logo prominence and wraps around the headlights.

He also says future Renaults will have “human, sensual, warm” design elements. “It is our job to communicate the values of the brand, and Renault is a human brand. So I needed a form language that would have a human side to it, instead of doing something that was very functional and cold and Teutonic,” van den Acker said at the Paris show after introducing the DeZir.

Although Renault is short on new internal-combustion-engine cars for this year and most of next, it is not short of special editions.

The auto maker has added a Gordini Renault Sport version of the Wind, joining special editions of the Twingo and Clio, and it named a 2-tone Megane convertible Floride after a car it sold in America decades ago.

Renault also says a larger electric Kangoo delivery van, the Kangoo Maxi ZE, will join the family of electric cars coming this year and next. The auto maker plans to introduce the Fluenze ZE, Twizy ZE and Kangoo ZE this year and the Zoe next year.