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Renault Avantime- 2003
Avantime is a combination of the French “avant” for “ahead” and the English word “time”. The Avantime’s predecessor – the Espace – was certainly ahead of its time. By 2001, the MPV market was well established, but Renault had their own take with the production debut of the Avantime.
The Avantime was conceived by Philippe Guédon at Matra, with the project later taken over by Patrick Le Quément at Renault. In regards to the styling, Thierry Metroz, design project manager, said, “We wanted someone walking around the car to be continually astonished.” The press launch for the Avantime in 1999 was held at the Louvre, a decision in line with the art-driven design of the Avantime. It was described as a Coupéspace, an unusual pairing of minivan and sports coupe, targeted at enthusiast drivers who needed added versatility.
Notably, there are no B-pillars, which means the lines of the window sill and roof continue unbroken from front to rear. The Avantime is a two-door, which is unusual for its purpose and size. In order to make ingress and egress easy, these doors are especially long. To compensate for the length of the doors, the Avantime features a “double-kinematic” hinge system, maximizing the open space without swinging the door into the car parked next to you.
Country of Origin: France
Drivetrain Configuration: Front-engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine: Water-cooled, V-6, 3.0 L
Transmission: 6 speed manual
Top Speed: 139 mph
Years of Production: 2001-2003
Number Produced: 8,557
Original Cost: $38,000 USD