Russian Lada presents a new car with all-wheel drive. But it is not a complete novelty …
When you say Lada Niva, many imagine the famous offroad manufactured since 1977, internally called VAZ 2121. However, this car is now officially called the Lada 4×4, as the Russian manufacturer sold the right to use the Niva name to Chevrolet at the turn of the millennium. But this year, Lada Niva is coming back!
However, the name Niva will no longer be used for the famous offroad, which will still retain the designation Lada 4×4. Instead, a new all-wheel drive car will be used to complement the Russian brand’s offer, which is based on a Lady 4×4 chassis with preserved permanent all-wheel drive with a lockable inter-axle differential and reduction, but with a completely different body or wheelbase.
This closes the circle, because the novelty is a car, still known in Russia as the Chevrolet Niva. This car, originally developed as the VAZ 2123, was to become the successor to the famous 2121 in the 1990s, but the Russian carmaker did not have enough funds to start production. The project was taken over by Chevrolet, which also bought the rights to use the name Niva, with the car being manufactured in Toljatti, in a joint venture with AvtoVAZ.
While the Russian carmaker took care of the production of components such as the body, chassis or engines, painting and final assembly were in charge of the Chevrolet-led premises. Serial production of the Chevrolet Niva started in 2002, four years after the creation of the first pieces of the VAZ 2123.
Chevrolet Niva became a successful car and continued to sell in the Russian market. Even years ago, there was talk of preparations for the second generation, which even in 2014 he indicated the concept of the same name. In recent years, however, General Motors has changed its strategy for European markets, canceled the Niva II project and finally even last year divested from the GM-AvtoVAZ Toljatti JV joint venture.
It was bought by a Russian carmaker, which thus gained the rights to the name Niva years later. There has been speculation since last year that this designation Niva will be used for years by the speculated successor Lady 4×4. In the end, however, it is different, AvtoVAZ used it for a car still known as the Chevrolet Niva. Finally, it starts mass production with the logos for which it was originally intended.
The Russian carmaker continues to believe, claiming that there was still high demand for it, and so it wants to start selling it again. In 2018, by the way, the Chevrolet Niva was the 19th best-selling model on the Russian market, beating the Škoda Octavia by one place. The Lada 4×4 was the thirteenth best-selling car in Russia at the time.
The newly offered Lada Niva will be available on the Russian market in two variants. The default version will be complemented by off-road Niva Offroad, not only with a plastic-coated body, but also with suction to the roof to increase the wading of the car. The equipment also includes navigation with a seven-inch touch screen or a heated windshield.
By the way, the blue cheese is 4,056 mm long, 1,800 mm wide and 1,690 mm high, a five-door off-road, with a wheelbase of 2,450 mm. The drive is provided by a well-known seventeen-liter petrol engine with an output of 58.5 kW and a torque of 127 Nm, paired with a five-speed manual.