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Frankfurt LIVE: Renault Initiale Paris Concept

by Nat Shirley

The exceedingly eccentric Initiale Paris concept previews the next Espace MPV.

Renault has arrived in Frankfurt with the Initiale Paris concept, which previews the French automaker's next-generation Espace MPV.

Undoubtedly one of the quirkier show cars to grace the Frankfurt Messe grounds this year, Renault says that the Initiale Paris was created through drawing on a "singularly ‘French' spirit of challenge to shake up the established order.”

This inspiration translates to a wealth of unusual details set against the backdrop of the MPV's sleek, futuristic body. Milled into the aluminum and plexiglass roof is a map of Paris, complete with districts, main arteries and the River Seine. The Parisian theme continues with a lattice-like graphic design modeled after the Eifel Tower's structure that adorns the grille, wheels and sides.

Distinctive C-pillars house motorized aerodynamic screens that deploy like the flaps of an airplane tail fin, and LED running lights programmed to blink in the manner of human eyes complete the design.

Suicide rear doors and the B-pillar-less design create an airy, open entryway for passengers, who are greeted by a custom 32-speaker Bose audio system that plays specially composed ambient music when the car is started. A floating center console, matte wood and aluminum floor, and armchair-style front seats lend a contemporary feel to the cabin.

The engine bay houses a twin-turbocharged 1.6-liter diesel four-cylinder that pairs with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic and, according to Renault, produces 40 g/km less CO2 and burns 25 percent less fuel than other oil-burning mills of comparable performance.

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