It was 13 years ago, at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show, that Renault unveiled its Coupéspace concept, the didactic branding hinting at its origins: an Espace minivan turned into a coupé. This is the car which became the Renault Avantime, which was so avant of its time that the market demanded a total of 8,557 cars before production was killed off in 2003.
The Avantime died a decade ago and there’s still nothing like it on the market. It’s not easy to make sense of the car’s opiate appeal. The Avantime is, after all, a minivan. Except it isn’t. It’s a completely decadent grand tourer.