The Renault Initiale Paris concept car from 1995 (pictured) became the company's Vel Satis flagship model that sold from 2002 to 2009 – although the Vel Satis did without the concept's detuned Formula One engine, a 392-horsepower, 3.5-liter Renault Sport RS6 V10, which might be why it never sold as well as desired. Renault has held on to the Initiale Paris name, though, using to denote the top trim on cars like the Laguna, Espace, Clio and even the dinky Modus supermini.

Renault doesn't have a bona fide flagship anymore, and but it has bigger plans for a replacement that just slotting a new model in. Automotive News reports that the French firm wants to expand its use of Initiale Paris, starting with an Initiale Paris line within the Renault range sporting added features and more luxury, eventually becoming its own luxury line just as Nissan has with Infiniti. It's not a short-term plan, however, with Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares pointing to the 25 years that it has taken Infiniti to reach its current level, so it could be the next decade before there is an Initiale Paris model range.

Intriguingly, a May report on website LeftLaneNews indicated that a Renault flagship is on the way in 2014 or 2015 and is being developed through the Renault-Nissan alliance with Daimler. Although the timeline is sketchy, the idea is bolstered by this statment made by Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn last year, "You'd be very surprised if in five or six years that Mercedes and Renault-Nissan had only cooperated on small cars." LeftLane's intel is that that "Renault will decide on whether or not to launch Initiale Paris before the end of the year," at the same time it decides the fate of Alpine.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      it looks so ... French.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Vel Satis must be French for vile sh*t.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Homer Simpson is the chief designer?
      H.E. Pennypacker
      • 3 Years Ago
      she's looking at the camera like, "you expect me to ride in this POS?"
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, that's one beautiful car!!! I love it!! No, wait, I meant, holy sh*t that's creepy! I'm scared!
      • 3 Years Ago
      this is uglier than "The Homer"
      • 3 Years Ago
      Citroën DS is weird and nice, SM is weird and awesome, Citroën CX is awkwardly weird and very beautiful and the XM is way weird and so gorgeous. VelSatis and its concept are weird and ugly, very ugly in fact.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Aztek looks a bit nicer now that I've seen this.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Trying to find something nice to say about this.... I can't even like the wheels. And the crewcut chick in men's clothing isn't helping. At least she is packed and leaving. At least I won't see one in the states, the car that is, we have lots of ugly chicks.
        Felipe Politano
        • 3 Years Ago
        Maybe you're some 17 years late on your judgement... that is a design from 1995, and while it's not beautiful, it sure was different and provocative at the time.
          The Wasp
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Felipe Politano
          You can say that again -- that thing is most definitely not beautiful.
      Love Great Danes
      • 3 Years Ago
      You have to really try hard to make a car look that ugly!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Please no!
      • 3 Years Ago
      American consumers are so damn conservative. " Oh no! It doesn't look like an Accord/ Camry/ Altima or an SUV! It's ugly!"...This from the country that brought us the dozens of Landau-roofed fake wire wheeled two tone atrocities of the Malaise era
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