Chrysler Voyager and Renault Espace. The first generation of MPVs.
The Chrysler (Grand) Voyager is one of the first MPV. Chrysler introduced the model in 1984 under the name Dodge Caravan in the United States. The car was also sold as Plymouth.
This first model, square Voyager, was introduced in Europe in 1988 as a Chrysler Voyager and was very successful. Not only as MPV, but also as a gray license vehicle with no side windows. The second generation appeared in 1991. In 1996, the third generation was more rounded than the old square style. In 2001, the fourth generation appeared, which was revised in 2004. In 2007, the fifth generation appeared. The Voyager was powered by four- or six-cylinder gasoline and a diesel engine, and it was delivered automatically.
And very few first-generation survivors are left.
The same situation applies to Chrysler’s closest relative: The Renault Espace.
The Englishman Fergus Pollock worked for Chrysler England and was at Chrysler headquarters when Voyager was born. He was very impressed with the concept and when he returned to England he also made seven seats with Matra. He used parts of Simca’s 1307. For Matra, the project was Matra Rancho’s intended successor. When the Chryslers events in Europe ended up selling it to PSA. pollock for Lemon † Work on the project continued with Matra interior designer Antoine Volanis.
Peugeot had financial problems at the time, and did not see the future of the P18 project. This turned out to be a major decision-making mistake. Matra concluded a partnership agreement with Renault on December 15, 1982. As a result of this partnership, the model was created on a R18 basis. P23, which was Europe’s first MPV, Renault Espace was developed. Renault improved the structure, took over sales and sales, and provided a powerful train. Matra was responsible for production and development.
At Renault it was thought that Espace would be a good product for eccentrics. So the construction, due to the small number expected, was given to the original manufacturer of Matra Automobiles, who also had the necessary equipment for professional production. The revolutionary Renault was given a body of fiberglass and, like Matra Murena, a galvanized chassis. Murena production in Matra had to be suspended to allow for Espace production,
First name Espace
The first Espace was shown to the media in April 1984 and sales began in July 1984. Previously, Espace was only available with a 2 110 hp gasoline engine; at the end of 1984 the 88 hp turbo diesel was added.
Previously, the sale did not go downhill, because the public had to adapt to a specific structure. Only a few 2,700 units were sold in the first year. In 1985, however, sales increased dramatically. Starting in 1987, the Renault-Alpine factory was forced to intervene to meet demand. In 1988 the model received a face lift, with many parts of Simca and some common components of the Simca structure, including floating headlights, replaced by other parts from Renault warehouses. In 1991, 182,000 Espaces were finally sold, of which the first MPV won their place in the European market.
And you don’t see many of those very early Espaces either.
Still a pity …