Image credit: Renault/Dingo

What you’re looking at is one of the strangest production cars of this millennium: the Renault Avantime (meaning “ahead of its time”). It was a B-pillar-less, panoramic glass roof-having, two-door luxury coupé based on the Renault Espace minivan, and built in low quantities (total production was under 9,000) between 2001 and 2003 by Matra. The interior was incredibly quirky, with the most peculiar door trim design possibly ever (it separated when operating the special hinges for the giant doors). Engine options included a 210 horsepower 3.0-liter V6 and a ~165 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four, with either a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed auto managing the power.


Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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