Only a French company would come up with a car that was a cross between а соирё and a limousine. That’s what Renault created with the Avantime, based on the Espace but with just one double-hinged door on each side, to give the space of an MPV but with the style of a coupe. Predictably, while it was innovative it was also costly to build, no match dynamically for premium rivals and the packaging was appalling. As with so many French cars, the concept was brilliant, but the execution left a huge amount to be desired.
Designed by Patrick Le QuSment, the Avantime was developed and built by Matra. But when the Avantime bombed, it proved to be curtains for Matra, sadly.