Welcome to my second "instalment" of Do you remember. If you haven't read the first article I would suggest you go and do that, before reading this. It includes an explanation about what this article series is all about. Thanks you in advance.
Introduction: The Renault Avantime being one of the few jokers this car industry have seen since the past few decades(don't quote me on that) it firstly was a shame that such an innovative design should be such a commercial failure. The car as such was a 2-door minivan, it sounds absurd and out of place, but the frenchies knew what they were doing, the 2 doors was so massive and yet so agile that both front at rear passengers could get in and out of them without any struggle, not to mention the smart design the French have developed into the doors, the door is massive, although you could still get out without any trouble if you were to find your self in a tight parking spot. The Avantime wasn't the only commercial failure that Renault had to stand by, along with the design of the Avantime, they also designed another joker car, called the Vel Satis, which basically was a mid-sized sedan made into a compact hatchback, even Opel followed them by making the Signum, both didn't sell well enough, so they got discontinued.
Renault Vel Satis
Concept: Quote from Renault '1999"The Avantime is a new concept. It combines the features of a coupé with a mono volume. The roof is transparent and the aluminium frame of the roof is just an optical illusion. The car is powered by a 3.0 litre ,24 valves, V6 generating 210 horsepower. Top speed is 220 kmh and it accelerates from 0 to 1000 meters in 29 seconds. The car will be available beginning with the autumn of the year 2000."
A lot of cars today see the light of days after a lot of concepts have been shown, an example would be the Suzuki Kizashi had 3 concept car based upon to show the public the design cues the final car would have. The Avantime only had one concept, and the concept looked exactly like the final car, something I miss in today's car industry.
Production: The Avantime was designed by a design house called Matra, what Renault had in mind before giving them the plans was that even though kids of Espace owners was grown up, they would stay loyal to the Renault family and buy something more funky and fresh as the Avantime, hence the futuristic look with grills based over the headlights on both sides. This was French innovation at its best, even though it was a commercial failure Renault put a lot of time and thinking into this project.
The car was first shown in concept form at the 1999 Geneva Auto Show, where it was called something as exotic as Coupéspace, mainly for it to have a connection between the Espace. The car was somewhat greeted with joy, as it was a step in the correct direction for the French car industry. The production car first debuted in 2001, and if the launch shouldn't have gone any worse, the Vel Satis overshadowed it one year later in 2002. Up until then, Renault hadn't even sold 6.000 Avantimes, due to bad marketing and probably also down to bad timing by the company. In 2003, Renault ceased production of the Avantime due to the poor sales, and the world once more lost a cool and innovative car.
Verdict: The Avantime was everything a car should be, use able, exiting, beautiful, and roomy.
History: Renault, along with Citroen and Peugoet have existed in many years. The company was founded in 1899 by three brothers, Louis, Marcel and Fernand Renault. It was originally called Société Renault Frères which roughly means "The Renault Brothers Company". Renault have made anything automotive related since the light of days, busses, bicylses, tanks, tractors, and trucks, one of the key features why they survived both wars. They went on making some of the most iconic vehicles in our time, the Renault Turbo 5, hell even the Renault 5 was an iconic little machine. Today they are back from the dark 90's with a lot of new FRENCH designed cars. Without Renault, the world would be a just worse place to live in. Je t'aime Renault.
When I say Renault a lot comes to mind, boring cars, exiting cars, big lorries(trucks), pocket-cars, rally cars, TURBO CARS.