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The Renault Avantime was a coupé automobile marketed by the French manufacturer Renault (though in fact designed and built by the French manufacturer Matra) between 2001 and 2003. The car, which had a radical and unique design, suffered from very poor sales and was discontinued after only two years of production.

The eventual Avantime design by Patrick Le Quement was intended to offer the luxury and comfort of a coupe with the style and flexibility of an Espace-type MPV, and was first shown in 1999 in concept form at the Geneva Auto Show. However, it took two more years to get the car into production, partly as a result of the work required in getting the pillarless design up to the required safety standards. The vehicle's name comes from the French word "Avant" meaning ahead, and the English word "Time", thus implying that the car was ahead of its time (the vehicle's name is intended to be pronounced using the English pronunciation of "time", and not the French pronunciation as in "centime"). The car had only 2 doors, which were very large to allow easy access to the two rear seats, and hinged in a unique way so they could be opened in relatively small spaces, such as car parks. Renault's 24 valve, 207 hp (152 kW) 3.0L V6 engine was coupled to a 6-speed transmission.

Though other ambitious Renault designs in the first few years of the 21st century like the Mégane and Laguna were quite well-received and successful, the Avantime's sales were extremely poor (and did not move out of double digits in many countries), and today the car is considered to be a massive flop. The car's fortunes were not helped by the introduction of the Renault Vel Satis (another large, quirky, upmarket Renault) at virtually exactly the same time. When Matra decided to pull out of the automotive production business in 2003 (partly as a result of the financial loss incurred by the poor sales of the Avantime), Renault chose to discontinue the Avantime rather than move its production elsewhere. Only 8,545 were built from 2001 to 2003.

Although it was a commercial failure, I love this car. And every time I see one it still turns my head. Absolutely cool.
The short production run, rarity, and abstractness of the car make it really cool to me. A truly French interpretation of the grand touring coupe.
So cool.
It's cool. It looks fantastic and the design still looks pretty modern.
I am not down with da frenchieeeees.
christ, will someone please vote a tiebreaker here? honestly.
QUOTE(Phix @ Apr 3 2009, 03:00 PM) *
christ, will someone please vote a tiebreaker here? honestly.

Tiebreaker fail. This thing's in the uncool section, and it looks like the votes are split evenly between uncool and cool. Lets get some more cool votes here.
I voted uncool because of its design. While it's functional, it's stupid.
QUOTE(BlackJack @ Oct 26 2009, 06:31 AM) *
I voted uncool because of its design. While it's functional, it's stupid.

This statement is incorrect. The Avantime's design wasn't functional at all. It was all about the style. Either you dug the quirky, stylish, French take on a grand tourer...or you thought it was hideous and worthless.
Very cool.
I saw only one in the flesh and it's breathtaking. Cool.
Move it too cool!
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