This week saw the original people carrier, the Renault Espace, celebrate its 30th birthday – to celebrate the big 3-0, Diesel Car picks out its top three Espaces.
1. The MkI
With a concept dating back the 1970s and Britain, not France, the original Espace hit the market in 1984. The Espace got off to a slow start with only a handful of cars finding owners after its launch. Customers soon began to see the appeal of the Espace however and following a minor facelift in 1988, the original Espace remained in production until 1991.
2. Espace F1
Built to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Renault’s F1 campaign, the F1 used a carbonfibre chassis and a 790bhp, 3.5litre V10 lifted from the Renault Williams Formula One car. It could hit 62mph in under three seconds with a top speed of 194. It was built by long-term Espace collaborator Matra and as well as featuring at many motorshows around the world, it would as star in the smash-hit video game Gran Turismo 2. Today it resides in Matra’s museum.
3. Espace IV
The current generation Espace arrived in 2003 and was the first Espace in the car’s history to be entirely designed, developed and built by Renault. It remained popular but arguably suffered at the hands of increased competition as most manufacturers began to offer their own people carrier. The Espace was one of the casualties when Renault pruned its range in Britain, with the last ones imported into Britain in 2012.