French car makers gear up for Paris revival

Renault, Peugeot and Citroen all loading big new model guns for Paris assault

With the French car industry undergoing something of a revival following its dark post-2008 years, it's hardly surprising that the big three Gallic car makers are preparing to showcase some hugely significant new models at the upcoming Paris Motor Show.

The most significant of all could be the new Renault Espace, a car which Renault has confirmed will debut at the show and the styling of which is shown here in this grainy patent application image, which leaked out ahead of the car's unveiling.

Renault (alongside Chrysler) essentially created the MPV in 1984, and re-created it in smaller form in 1998 with the Megane Scenic, but the Espace has been allowed to wither somewhat. The current model has been on sale for over a decade as families downsize into more compact seven seaters. Renault's gamble then is to try to make the new Espace appeal to buyers of large SUVs and luxury saloons. Its betting on the fact that Europe's blooming love affair with both SUVs and MPVs might raise the Espace's tide and allow it to compete with the German luxury squad.

Peugeot will be showing an updated version of its Exalt concept car, seen last year in bare-metal form.


Meanwhile, Citroen is giving a glimpse at the future of the DS lineup with the Divine DS concept car.

Neil Briscoe

Neil Briscoe

Neil Briscoe, a contributor to The Irish Times, specialises in motoring