Renault SA will show this edgy concept coupe at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Called the Avantime, the concept will reopen a forgotten market niche -the Grand Tourer coupe - combining the sportiness of a coupe with the roominess of a luxury car.
The French automaker has become adept at teasing out new market segments with such vehicles as the Espace, Twingo and Scenic, and is convinced there is room for this new breed of coupe.
It's a throwback to the 1920s and 1930s, when Renault's main products were luxurious sports models driven by Europe's aristocracy.
The Avantime has a light aluminum frame and is powered by a 250-hp, 3.0-liter, 24-valve, V-6 four-cam engine driving through a 6-speed gearbox.
Avantime's styling cues can be traced back to the Vel Satis concept first seen at the Paris Salon last October. The roof is made entirely from strengthened heat-reflecting glass. Renault insiders say it is very close to production ready.