AvtoVAZ recently announced plans to increase production to 500,000 vehicles per year. Some industry sources report that this decision was made by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, which forced the Volga car plant to achieve this in the next 1-2 years. It should be noted that the capacity of the enterprise is sufficient to produce up to 800 thousand cars. That is, a AvtoVAZ there is a reserve to achieve the goal. However, even in the best years, when Lada e Renaulteach year it produced fewer cars than is now claimed.
In this regard, a significant expansion of the model range is required. AvtoVAZ has announced that it intends to create a new family Lada Grant. However, most of the future cars will be converted versions of the current ones. That is, AvtoVAZ, in fact, will only release a new Grant. The company also announced the development of its first B-Class crossover. But even if AvtoVAZ implements both businesses in the coming years, it will not be able to increase production to 500,000 vehicles per year in such a short time. The reason for this is the too high price for the current Lada models, which will make it difficult for the company to bring demand to the desired level.
In this regard, AvtoVAZ will need a cheaper car than Granta. The domestic designer showed how such a car can be. He has created renderings depicting the new Lada “Oka” 2022-2023, which is in no way similar to the small Soviet car. The appearance of such a car in the AvtoVAZ range is fully consistent with the announced development strategy of the company. Additionally, industry sources say the company continues to work on the CMF-B platform, which it received from Renault. This architecture is characterized by a modular configuration. That is, on the basis of this platform, with some modifications, you can create cars of different sizes.
An example of this is Renault Kwid, a compact crossover currently on sale in India. This model was created on one of the modifications of the CMF-B platform. Therefore, AvtoVAZ is quite capable of developing its own compact car based on the French “trolley”, similar to the one shown in the renders presented.
The second point that catches the eye is that the presented “Oka” has a port for recharging the battery. This, in turn, partly contradicts the statement made earlier: the CMF-B platform was created for cars with internal combustion engines. However, Renault has a CMF-BEV truck geared towards electric cars. Perhaps both architectures have a similar design. That is, a potentially French platform with minor modifications can form the basis of the electric Oka.
The appearance of such a small car also corresponds to the development strategy of AvtoVAZ. Information has recently been published that the company will work in three directions. One of these involves the development of a range of electric car models. Initially, it was assumed that this series was just an electric station wagon and a commercial van and-Wide, production of which in 2023 is expected to be established at the Izhevsk Automobile Plant. But it cannot be excluded that AvtoVAZ will expand the range of electric cars with the compact city car VAZ-1111 2022-2023. In addition, the company can release 2 variants of this car.
Today, the demand for electric cars in Russia remains low, largely due to their high price and lack of the necessary infrastructure. In this regard, AvtoVAZ, in order to meet current demand and implement the plan for the production of 500 thousand cars per year, can create Oka with standard internal combustion engines. In this case, the Russian novelty will receive a compact 1.6-liter engine with a yield of no more than 90 hp. You don’t need a more powerful unit for such a small car. Most likely, an automatic transmission will be installed in all versions of such an Oka. Introducing a manual gearbox in a city car doesn’t make sense.
Other questions are raised by the Oka electrical project. The reason is that AvtoVAZ has not yet made public information on the technical component of e-Largus. That is, it is not yet known what technologies needed to create an electric car are owned by the Russian automobile plant. Most likely, the electric Oka will receive a compact electric motor, the maximum power of which does not exceed 50 hp. In this regard, AvtoVAZ could return to the Duyunov motor wheel project, which was discussed several years ago. But in the past 1-2 years, news about this project has practically not appeared. It is possible that the idea of a motorized wheel was never realized.
Also compact the battery for the electric Lada Oka 2022-2023. Perhaps the power reserve of the new electric car will be increased to 250 km, like the e-Largus. But so far this is nothing more than speculation.
Despite the fact that the presented Oka will be the cheapest car in the Lada range, it will be better equipped than the Granta. The new subcompact should receive a multimedia complex with a small touchscreen and its electric version will be equipped with a virtual instrument cluster. Acoustics, air conditioning and a dead zone monitoring system should also appear in the list of available equipment. These devices will be supplied to AvtoVAZ by Russian companies. That is, the Volga automobile plant will be able to introduce them into a new car without fear of its price rising sharply.
The new Oka, judging by the renderings published, will have a two-door layout. Its main distinguishing feature will be the abundance of smooth lines that give the car a somewhat futuristic look. But such a configuration improves the redistribution of air flows, which, compared to the electric Oka, should increase the power reserve. The novelty boasts a large glazed surface, which is important for constant operation within the city. The sedan also received LED optics.
In the case of the implementation of the presented project, the serial version of the Oka will differ significantly from the concept. First of all, the engineers need to increase the amount of ground clearance. Due to the low ground clearance, like the concept presented, the car will attract “speed bumps” and other obstacles to the bottom. The need to increase clearing can also be explained by the fact that this solution will make boarding and disembarking easier. In addition, the developers should significantly increase the rear window area. The stern window is too compact – other cars won’t be visible through it either, let alone the smaller obstacles. Otherwise, the new Oka will have to receive several parking sensors and a collision avoidance system when reversing.
AvtoVAZ is now in a situation where it can experiment. First, it has fewer and fewer competitors. Secondly, the reduction in the number of cars in Russia could force consumers to buy what is left. Thirdly, AvtoVAZ has great support from the country’s leadership. This confirms the statement from company representatives, who said the electric e-Largus will initially be produced in small batches to assess potential demand.
Therefore, it is easy to assume that AvtoVAZ can really go and revive the little VAZ-1111 2022-2023. And since it will be very cheap (probably no more than 500-600 thousand rubles), the demand will be enough to cover the development costs. That is, AvtoVAZ has the opportunity to start production of such a car.
But the company will have to resolve the issue of supplying batteries and motors for the electric version of the Oka. It may not be economically viable to launch a car with Chinese batteries and motors, as they will be imported into Russia. But AvtoVAZ representatives recently reported that the electric e-Largus will only be 20-30% more expensive than an internal combustion engine van. This could mean that the company has already found affordable component suppliers for electric cars.