Lot 105 - 2002 Renault Avantime 'Privilege'
|Odometer reading||106,955 miles|
|Result||Sold - £3,024|
Renault wowed the crowds and the motoring press with their 2+2 Coupe GT MPV concept when they revealed their Matra inspired styling exercise at the Paris Motor Show in 1998. The concept by Patrick Le Quement was boldly taken into production largely unchanged. Featuring design ahead of its time the Avantime (French word "Avant" meaning "ahead" with English word "time") was packed full of luxuries, safety features and advanced engineering. Highlights included unique double-hinged 'kinematic' pillarless doors allowing easy access to the front and rear seats (even when tightly parked), the worlds largest opening glass sunroof at the time (a full 1m/sq of opening roof) featuring strengthened heat-reflecting glass, theatre seating (rear positioned higher than the front), galvanised steel chassis with aluminium upper structure, cavernous 530 litre boot, xenon headlights, a 'grand air' button which simultaneously opened all pillarless windows and sunroof, and finally a choice of powerful engines (3.0 V6 or 2.0 turbo) giving a grand tourer driving style and claimed lowest 0-62mph of 8.6 seconds.
Delays in the launch prompted sudden competition from within when Renault themselves elected to put their concept Vel Satis model into production. Just ten months after Avantime production started in 2001, Matra announced that they would cease all vehicle manufacturing, with much of the facilities going on to be sold to Pininfarina in 2003. Renault elected not to continue the Avantime themselves. Across 18 months only 4,557 vehicles were built, half of those sold in France.
BBC's Top Gear positioned the Renault Avantime at 'Sub Zero' on the 'Cool Wall' stating it was cooler even than the Aston Martin Vanquish and "the coolest car money can buy". Despite this just 450 cars sold in the UK, of which nearly half were optioned as 3.0 Privilege models.
Our car is a 2002 3.0 Privilege Automatic in 'Steppe' Silver/Grey with silver aluminium roof rails and full black leather upholstery. Optioned with SatNav, this is a striking top of the range example of Renaults futuristic MPV Coupe. The car is production number 210 in the sequence of cars built for the UK market and comes with a letter from Renault UK, a certificate and a gift box containing an Avantime concept print and Renault concept cars book. Owned by the present registered keeper for the past six years the car is reported as delivering good power, a pleasing exhaust note and a bright and rewarding driving experience. The aluminium roof rails are prone on the Avantime to oxidisation blisters but the rails on this car remain in excellent condition. The remote control handset that operates the concert music system is present and correct and the car is also fitted with a good quality LPG alternative fuel system with discreet twin tanks. It is intended that the car will be presented at the sale with a fresh 12 months MoT test certificate.
The Avantime combines bold styling with exceptional comfort and a host of highly attractive features that would appeal to most car enthusiasts. When you overlay the GT flare and performance with such limited production numbers, we believe that the Avantime possesses all of the hallmarks of a highly collectable classic.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.