Are we looking at an all-new Renault Avantime? That's the rumor which persists, though it might also carry the more sedate name of Austral Coupe. We know there's an Austral under the camo wrap, using the same platform as the current SUV. The roofline is sloped to create a modern coupe body, but specifics on styling are still well hidden behind camouflage wrap and false panels.
We've spotted the sleek SUV once before, but this time around the camo coverings up front have strange vertical boomerang patterns in plain view. We also see more of the narrow headlights, which match up to those on both the Austral and the reborn Espace. Yes, the Espace is back as an SUV; it's basically a longer three-row version of the Austral. Its rebirth is fuel for rumors of an Avantime revival, but we digress.
Gallery: Renault Austral Coupe Spy Photos
This boomerang pattern in the camo doesn't appear to be an opening for running lights or vertical vents. Looking closely, we can see horizontal lines in the background that don't match up with design cues on the Austral. It could be more trickery on Renault's part, but it could also mean the coupe version will wear a significantly different face. That would also fit with rumors of the revived Avantime moniker, as we all remember the previous Avantime and its distinctive styling.
The rear of this prototype remains tightly wrapped, giving just mere slivers for the taillights. A single exhaust pipe that obviously isn't production-spec protrudes from the driver's side, and raised U-shaped elements under the camo wrap help disguise body lines on the doors. Zooming in closely on the C-pillar, it appears the beltline makes a sharp up-kink to intersect the D-pillar horizontally in a manner similar to the Austral and Espace. Whether there's glass in there remains to be seen.
At this time, we believe power will come from the same mild-hybrid powertrain used in the Austral, making up to 280 horsepower. With this being a sportier model, a power increase wouldn't be a surprise. Similarly, the coupe likely shares its interior layout with the Austral and Espace. We've yet to get a clear look at the greenhouse for the sloped-roof model, but we can see a similar steering wheel design looming through the driver's side window in these spy shots.
We have no word on a potential debut date, but given the level of camouflage and the janky exhaust pipe, it's likely several months away at the earliest.