To cross a Renault Avantime on the road in Green Taïga, it is to take in the face one of the greatest monuments of design in all the history of the automobile.

March 1999. Renault unveils the Avantime concept car at the Geneva Motor Show, which seduces everyone with its monolithic style, massive but particularly elegant. Patrick Le Quément then specifies that the production version of the concept car will remain 95% faithful to the concept car, carrying a nice success of esteem.

June 2001. The series Avantime is shown for the first time. This large 4.64-meter-long coupe represents Renault’s absolute new top-of-the-range, and the symbol of its stylistic audacity. But the first months of its marketing set the tone: hardly anyone will buy it. The target clientele prefers to wallow wisely in the conformism of the very classic sedans and other coupes of premium German brands. After only 8,557 units sold, the Avantime left the Renault catalog in 2003 and precipitated the bankruptcy of its partner Matra, who built the Avantime in its factory.

Such a beautiful misunderstood

Like the failure of the Vel Satis of 2002, the flop of the Avantime will eventually convince the managers of Renault (and those of other French brands) to never again be too daring in their product plan (except for the Alpine, not rewarded either). But almost twenty years later, the mere sight of a copy of the beast in its Taïga Green colorway makes you want to take the wheel and pamper yourself in its spacious, bright and comfortable cabin. Pataud in his dynamic behavior but extraordinarily invigorating to contemplate in this color so daring, this monumental esthete turns all heads. Will it finally become cult in the collection market? He only deserves that …