Lifetime Achievement Award - Renault Espace
This year has been quite a special one, even by the Espace’s traditionally high standards. As if celebrating its twentieth birthday this year was not cause for enough celebration, the Espace range also achieved the significant milestone of one million production units at Renault’s Sandouville plant earlier in the year and continues to receive praise for its unrivalled safety performance and luxurious appeal. Translating the Espace’s reputation into sales has not proved a difficult task either – this year’s sales are already up considerably on last year’s performance.
Reflecting on the Espace’s remarkable achievements over the years, What MPV and 4x4? captures the essence of this trend-setting model perfectly, "More than any other car in Europe, the Espace created the MPV market and continues to define it". The awards also go on to describe the Espace as "…a true pioneer, one of the most influential cars of the 20th century – and as fine a family car as it was then".
Innovation of the Year Award - Renault Modus bike rack
Forever at the forefront of ingenious design which mirrors the real world needs of today’s motorists, this month saw the UK launch of Renault’s new supermini, Modus. The "small car with a big heart" is already attracting considerable interest from the British public, due in no small part to its range of innovative features including the ‘Triptic’ rear seat bench and ‘Stay Put’ pocket system in the front passenger seat.
In spite of these inspired touches, the judges were more taken with Modus’ bike rack attachment, ‘Vélofix’, naming it the Innovation of the Year 2004 and Editor, Bob Murray, stating that, "A car with a built-in bicycle rack? It’s what MPVs should be all about, but it’s never been done before. If you were going to put money on one company coming up with this idea first, it would have to be Renault. Like their other innovations, it’s not just clever, it’s useful."
The bike rack slots simply into the rear bumper and can carry a load of 30kg, or two adult bicycles. It takes a matter of seconds to fit and still allows access to the car’s hatchback via the ‘boot chute’ without having to remove the bikes first. With such a simple, but effective design, this latest piece of clever design should allow the inner child in every Modus owner to get out and play in the great outdoors without the need for fiddly, cumbersome roof racks and left What MPV and 4x4? Magazine asking quite rightly, "Now why on earth hasn’t anyone thought of this before?"
Carpenters in the Rickmansworth area near Renault UK’s headquarters are naturally delighted by the latest award wins and are already smiling from ear to ear at the prospect of yet another lucrative end to the year as Renault prepares to order in yet another cabinet to accommodate its ever-increasing number of trophies!Published 1 October 2004