The next-generation Renault Master has been under development for the last several months and we’ve already caught two prototypes during the early testing phase. Today, the French company’s workhorse returns in new shots showing some progress has been made. Also, the van now moves to the southern parts of Europe for hot weather testing.

For the uninitiated, the Master is Renault’s largest light commercial vehicle, which has been in production in its current form since 2010 and has been also available with Nissan, Opel, and Vauxhall badges. Its brand-new successor is now doing early evaluations on European roads with what appears to be a production body but, possibly, placeholder lights. The Renault Master isn’t sold in the United States but has been available in South America with local production in Brazil.

Gallery: Renault Master new spy photos

For the fourth generation model, the automaker is expected to bet big on electrification. However, nothing suggests that there’s some sort of hybrid support in these two prototypes as both feature exhaust pipes at the back. Even though the diesel engine is no longer synonymous with efficiency, the LCV market on the European continent is still heavily dependent on compression ignition mills, and we expect the new Master to be available with a diesel unit. The outgoing model has a 2.3-liter dCi diesel with up to 180 horsepower, and we don’t expect a brand-new development in that regard.

An all-electric version could also be considered a must at this point, especially given the current Master’s existing zero-emissions model. It is somewhat heavily outdated with its small 55-kilowatt-hour battery pack enough for about 120 miles (190 kilometers) of range on a single charge, and a big upgrade would be a good addition to the lineup. Last but not least, there are rumors about a potential hydrogen-powered model.

Word on the street is the new Master will be ready for a market launch next year. Depending on the exact launch date, it will be introduced on the European market as either a 2024 or a 2025 model.

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