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Van innovations until 2015: Vans can now also do lifestyle

Christian Schulte
Van innovations until 2015
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H Would you think so? Mitsubishi Space Wagon, Nissan Prairie and Honda Civic Shuttle from Japan were among the first vans in the early 1980s - only then followed by Chrysler /Plymouth Voyager and Renault Espace (1984). Just as surprising: after a tentative start and a boom in the nineties, MPVs have been losing popularity for years. Above all, the many new crossover models overtake them with their sleek design.

Future vans offer more lifestyle

But the vans are reinventing themselves, the successor generation of the Espace (premiered as a study at the IAA) gives a first glimpse of how things could continue: away from the box-shaped design, towards a dynamic design language, combined with all-wheel drive as an option. This turns the van into a lifestyle crossover without losing its roots. The Renault Avantime has shown it in principle. Only one does not go this way: the Mercedes R-Class, although it too was one of the first representatives of this style since its market launch in 2006. But the time was not ripe for such a concept back then. Today the patience of the Mercedes board of directors is exhausted: early 2014 will be over, there will be no successor.

You can find all upcoming van models in our big photo show.

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