The World's First Minivan Is Not A Minivan Anymore

In 1984, Pierre Heymann's revolutionary design for a spacious family car was put into production by Matra for Renault, and the minivan was born. Thirty years later, the Espace turns into a crossover.

The original Espace almost ended up being a Peugeot or a Citroën, but PSA felt the design was too risky and expensive to put into production, so Matra took it to Renault instead. Renault was happy to take it, and since the Espace featured a fiberglass body mounted on a warm-galvanized steel chassis, Matra had to stop making the three-seater Murena to give space for the new car in their tiny factory.


After a rather slow start, people realized how cool it was, and the minivan became the next big thing.

After four generations, Renault decided to change what's behind the name because the Espace V is a crossover. They promise it will also be "brightly-lit and comfortable with a modular, occupant-friendly cabin featuring a floating centre console."


Future Espace buyers can still choose between the five- and seven-seat versions, but there are no plans for it to be sold in right hand drive markets. Sorry Britain!


All I see is significantly less glass.

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