The new Renault Austral is getting a workout. It debuted for Europe in 2022 and is already offered in two versions: the standard model and the long-wheelbase version. Of course, the long-wheelbase Austral is actually called the Espace, but underneath, the vehicles share a platform. Now, spy photos capture an Austral coupe variant concealed beneath camo wrap and false panels designed to distort body lines. That is, we hope those are false panels.

We say that because our spy sources believe this swoopy compact crossover will resurrect another name from Renault's history – Avantime. Everyone remembers this quirky, oddly styled minivan that was billed as a grand touring machine combining the space of an estate with the sportiness of a coupe. That was back before sloped-roof coupe-SUVs were a thing, and though it only lasted a couple of years, it certainly left its mark on the automotive world, for better or worse.

Gallery: Renault Austral Coupe / Avantime Spy Photos

Whether the camo-wrapped crossover seen here is called Austral Coupe or Avantime, we're fairly certain it won't have raised U-shape features on the doors. We also believe it will wear a distinctive face compared to the Austral and Espace. Slim headlights look like common items, though we could be looking at placeholder lenses here. We also see different styling on the sides of the fascia. There could be vertical elements at work, and we can definitely see LED lamps of some kind through the vent cutouts on the camo.

Unlike the original Avantime, this people mover will have four doors on the sides. We see a slight up-kink to the belt line at the C-pillar, similar to the standard Austral. Those raised U sections on the doors could be hiding the Austral's telltale horizontal body crease down low. At the back, everything is different as we're dealing with a sloped roof that drops down rather prominently. Taillight designs might be similar to the Austral and Espace, but the camo wrap makes it impossible to tell.

At this point, our spy sources believe the hybrid powertrain of the current Austral offerings will carry over unchanged, offering up to 280 horsepower. A diesel option isn't expected.

This is an early prototype sighting. Based on the level of camouflage and some of the non-production parts (like the exhaust pipe) we don't expect a reveal until sometime in 2024.

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