Renault has given us all the goods on its newest crossover, the Scénic Xmod, one month in advance of the vehicle's world debut at the Geneva Motor Show. The Xmod seeks to punch up the Scénic line of small MPVs with all-wheel drive and slightly butched up looks. (It's a formula that has panned out well for the French automaker before, with the likes of the Scénic RX4 and Scénic Conquest, for what it's worth.)
Even if their avant-garde styling has historically meant that they would never enjoy the sales success of their more staid German counterparts, it was always somehow comforting to know that the French were building large sedans. With a history of nontraditional looks and peerless ride quality (a legacy built on the hydropneumatic suspension of the original Citroën DS), big French cars have always been an acquired taste.
We Americans are far too self-conscious to widely adopt the immensely utilitarian MPV, opting for bloated, high-riding crossovers. In Europe, on the other hand, vehicles like the Citroen C3 Picasso are optimal for families in towns where the streets were once farm paths.
Renault and Citroen are winding up to launch a frontal assault on the German car market. Germany is Europe's largest automotive market, filled with über-drivers that demand cars that set the performance and luxury standard for the rest of Europe, and arguably the world. The French automakers want a larger piece of the German market, as well as further global expansion, too. Renault is bringing the fight to Germany with their new Laguna. The Laguna was designed specifically to appeal to the