return on the UFO signed Matra

What a funny bird this Renault Avantime is. Unloved, decried, mocked, it represents a period when the diamond went astray. But today, he takes his revenge.

In 1998, Louis Schweitzer, CEO of Renault, and Philippe Guédon, CEO of Matra Automobiles, sign a partnership agreement. It provides for the development by Matra and the marketing by Renault of a new top-of-the-range product, a vehicle with a precursor image to the design of the future range, which should appeal to well-to-do, modern and non-conformist customers. It is to take over from Espace on the Romorantin and Theillay chains. It will take the name of the concept from which it is directly derived: Avantime.

A futuristic look

Its original design ultimately differs little from the Espace III and the Vel Satis limousine with which it will often be confused. Beyond the aesthetic and practical aspects, it is worth highlighting the very high road qualities of this model 2: it was tested in November 2008 on the circuit by the hosts of the famous English program Top Gear, amazed by the handling of the Avantime.

All that for this…

The Avantime was able to convince only a few people. However, its design is very similar to the Mégane 2, which sold very well. Perhaps it was because of the price not necessarily advantageous, or the fact of having made the choice of a gasoline V6 engine at the time when diesel was the most popular fuel. Early abandoned by Renault, only 8,557 examples of this model were produced. Marketing and maintenance were handled by the Renault network.

Despite the exceptional coverage of this unusual vehicle in the international trade press, its remarkable comfort and driving pleasurethe Avantime turned out to be a commercial failure, handicapped by its disconcerting atypicality as much as by its top-of-the-range positioning that its random finish nevertheless makes inaccessible. It remains, on the other hand, the precursor of a long line of vehicles mixing inspirations, which will be called crossover.

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Source: AutoplusAutoplus by

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