"We don't know how to define it. But there's something distinct about French car culture. It's encoded in the machinery that is made, designed and consumed in France, too. Here are five objects that put clear water between the culture "
Renault Espace F1
Hail the bonkers people carrier from Renault
Here’s one of our favourite concepts of all time.
The Espace F1 was created in 1995 by French motorsport pioneers Matra to celebrate both the 10th anniversary of the Espace and Renault’s involvement in Formula One racing.
It might have looked very similar to the Espace production model on the surface, beneath the skin, and in fact the skin itself – this was an altogether undomesticated beast.
There was a carbon fibre chassis and carbon fibre reinforced Espace J63-series body. The standard model had been fibreglass. Bang smack in the middle of the cabin was a ferocious 800 hp Renault RS5 V10 engine, as used in the 1993 Williams-Renault FW15C. The gearbox and drivetrain came from the Williams too.
Renault claimed a 2.8 seconds standard pullaway and also reckoned that it could reach 200KM/h in 6.9 seconds. It could also go from zero to 168MPH and back to a halt in under 600 metres. That’s an urgent school run right there.
The ultimate ride for a rad dad.
We think we ran this video once before. Here it is again anyway!
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