As bizarre as some French cars were, one was created more bizarre than all the others: the infamous Avantime, whose name is a combination of the French word “avant” (meaning “ahead”) and the English word “time.”
The Avantime was introduced for 2001 alongside the aforementioned Vel Satis. Supposedly combining the styling of a 2+2 coupe with the space of minivan, the Avantime concept was conceived by former Renault co-operative Matra, who dabbled in Formula 1 racing while building computers, bicycles, missles, and the Espace van. Matra intended the coupe-van-thing to cater to a younger generation of buyers who, as they saw it, grew up with the Espace and didn’t want to grow too far apart from it.
Le Quement handled the styling and came up with a large-butted one-box shape with a pillarless daylight opening, a massive retractable glass roof, and huge doors. It was something that was truly unlike … Read More