Renault Avantime

The Renault Avantime excels at the fundamentals expected of an executive coupé - comfort, style and performance - wrapped in a distinctive, innovative attention-grabbing design. However, the interior is light and airy, not dark and claustrophobic, the rear seats can be used by adults over long distances and the luggage compartment is larger than an S-class Mercedes-Benz meaning you don’t have to choose between rear-seat passengers or more than one change of clothing!

Avantime both challenges the current orthodoxy regarding the design of the executive coupé and rediscovers a long forgotten sector - that of the luxurious Grand Touring (GT) Coupé with space for at least four adults to relax and travel in comfort.

The two-door GT Coupé Renault Avantime offers a new breed of luxury motoring unparalleled by any other vehicle on the road today. The combination of performance and driving enjoyment, the luxury of interior space and comfort - heightened by the panoramic glass roof and windows - high driving position, advanced on-board technology and a powerful engine puts Avantime at the top of the wish list of anyone seeking to stand out from the crowd, see and be seen, in style and in comfort.

In creating the Avantime, Patrick Le Quément, Renault’s Design Director has shown that a car that offers all the fundamentals of a coupé - comfort, style and performance - does not have to be cramped, impractical and expensive, but can offer these qualities in spacious, head-turning architecture.

Not only does Avantime offer another choice to the executive coupé customer, it will also catch the eye of buyers looking for a replacement for their 4x4, those who no longer need a top-of-the-range MPV, or executive saloon owners who still want to occasionally use the rear seats to carry friends and large amounts of luggage without having to keep resorting to a four-door saloon.

Two Trim Levels Offer Luxury Cruising

The new Renault Avantime is available in two trim levels - Dynamique and Privilège. Each trim level offers a specific trim and upholstery combination creating different cabin ambiences to suit the customer’s preference in addition to a host of core features available on Avantime.

Core Features

Avantime offers a number of core features that distinguish it from its competitors in the executive coupé sector. Obviously its appearance is unique in the sector, featuring innovative engineering solutions. The upper structure of the car is aluminium - which appears in its natural colour - while the rest of the coachwork is of composite materials. Dropping the side windows reveals the car to have no B-pillars. This rare styling creates a sense of freedom, providing superb visibility, emphasised by the glass roof - featuring the largest panoramic sunroof on a car - whose Venus glass filters out infra-red rays and absorbs virtually all the sun’s energy, avoiding passengers overheating. Sunblinds also screen the two sunroofs.

To complete the sense of freedom the Avantime features an ‘Open Air’ function which controls the opening of all windows and the panoramic sunroof at one time, transforming the car from coupé to cabriolet with one touch of a button.

Entry to the cabin is aided by the lack of the B-pillar and a totally new design of door which provides a wide enough opening for occupants to comfortably enter the rear or front seats without the door’s long 1.4m length creating an obstacle, such as in a tight parking bay or at the roadside by blocking the footpath. But thanks to a revolutionary double-kinematic hinge system, the door first opens parallel to the body and then pushes outward reducing the swing of the furthest edge of the door.

Once inside the accommodation is luxurious. Avantime is designed to carry four adults on long journeys in the optimum comfort, a fact that is reflected in the provision of four fully or partly leather upholstered armchair-style seats with height-adjustable headrests. All seats are provided with a centre armrest, with the rear one able to fold away making room for a third passenger if necessary. The front passenger’s seats integrate their seatbelts, which feature double pretensioners, making the wearing of the belt more comfortable no matter what the position of the seat.

Storage for traveller’s belongings is more than ample inside Avantime with a total of 530 litres in the boot plus a further 27 litres from spaces around the cabin such as in the front centre arm-rest, passenger-side glovebox and drawers in the centre of the dashboard. In addition the rear seats split 70/30 accommodating a larger amount of luggage.

continues... | Part Two

Published : 25/10/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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