The Renault Avantime is a clear example of how an excellent vehicle can ruin a poor governance planning of their creators. Developed in collaboration with Matra, this kind coupé MPV was completely different than any other existing model on the market when it was released back in 2001.
Philippe GUEDON, head, back then, drove the automotive division of Matra development vehicle, based on minivan fashionable these days Renault Espace which maintained its substance, but which in turn had more dynamic and modern look . Thus was born the idea Coupe Space concept, a design that offers versatility Espace, but wearing a 2 + 2 coupe body.
The alliance between Renault and Matra was signed in 1998 and chose the name Avantime (early) , a term defined perfectly the innovative spirit of the model. The chassis inherited from Matra Espace III and the great Patrick Le Quément was responsible for the design of bodywork and interior.
The Avantime enjoyed typical configuration of a minivan, but the column B was removed to give the desired look coupe also had only two big doors that gave access to his inner which despite its size allowed to use a regular parking space without any problem thanks to a double opening system in parallel (referred to as “double kinematics”). Much of the structure was built with galvanized steel and polyester panels, while the upper part is made of aluminum. This resulted in better center of gravity and rigidity, allowing engineers Renault placed in Avantime sunroof large .
In its spacious interior, the second row located at higher altitudes, giving rear passengers a broader view. The large panoramic roof increases the feeling of space and light flooded the cockpit and pressing a button open, with all windows made Avantime in almost a convertible.
interior care had four individual seats incorporated seatbelts, and all were dressed in high quality leather. The interior design was completely minimalist, but the materials and quality of finish was well above the average of the time.
At the beginning of marketing Avantime was animated by an engine 3.0-liter petrol V6 capable of delivering 207 hp. As is the case today, the large displacement of propeller withdrawn most European prospective buyers. When it appeared the smaller 2.0-liter diesel and 2.2-liter engine was too late . So, Renault was simply not able to avert disaster by poor planning.
In 2003 just two years after production starts with only 8557 units sold , the “advance time” Avantime was removed from production, which would be one of the big mistake of Renault.
The Renault Avantime has become over time an item coveted by collectors cars.
Photo Added CC Renault