Watch this Es­pace

Herald Sun - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE CONFIDENTIAL - Twit­ter @PaulWard­Gover

THE car as we know it is not dead yet.

De­spite all the talk of au­ton­o­mous driv­ing and cars that do more and more for them­selves, in­clud­ing au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing and all sorts of park­ing as­sis­tance, one of the most in­flu­en­tial men in mo­tor­ing has a sim­ple bot­tom line.

“You don’t buy a car be­cause it’s the best for you, you buy it be­cause you like it,” Car­los Ghosn tells me at the Paris mo­tor show.

The livewire French­man heads the world’s fourth-big­gest car con­glom­er­ate, the Nis­san-Re­nault al­liance, and talks brightly about ev­ery­thing from the growth in elec­tric cars to pick-ups, peo­ple-movers and the Nis­san GT-R.

He con­cedes cars are be­ing crammed with more and more tech­nol­ogy but reck­ons 21stcen­tury mo­tor­ing can still be fun and re­ward­ing.

“I think the car is chang­ing a lot and will con­tinue to change,” he says. “But as long as we bring so­lu­tions … I think we’re go­ing to con­tinue the fu­ture of the car very strongly.

“I don’t buy this ‘end of a golden era’ stuff. There is no so­lu­tion yet to au­ton­o­mous trans­port. We con­tinue to drive.”

For me, Re­nault pro­duced the star of the 2014 Paris show, the Es­pace, even though it’s not cur­rently com­ing to Aus­tralia.

Why? Be­cause it’s a peo­ple­mover that looks like an SUV in­stead of a fish­bowl. It stood out, even among stun­ning de­buts by Lam­borgh­ini’s As­te­rion hy­brid and Fer­rari 458 Spe­ciale A, the funky four-door Fiat 500X, classy Jaguar XE and Hyundai i20.

The Es­pace shows that crossover cars can work at all lev­els, which in this case means a fam­ily wagon that can claim brag­ging rights along­side the SUVs that prom­ise out­back ad­ven­ture but com­pro­mise their pri­mary func­tion of haul­ing chil­dren and chat­tels.

Work­ing the crowd: Re­nault Es­pace peo­ple-mover at paris show

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.