Though many in the West may have assumed that Russian carmaker Lada disappeared from the automotive market a number of years ago, Lada never actually went away — and judging by the Vision 4X4 concept it’s just unveiled at the Moscow motor show, it could be set for a big comeback.
Despite disappearing from countries like France, the UK, Netherlands, Sweden and the like several years ago, Lada still sells its vehicles in 34 countries around the world. As well as its native Russia, the former Soviet company currently operates in some parts of the Middle East, South America, and much of Eastern Europe. It also has a presence in Germany, Turkey and Tunisia.
Of course, the box on wheels that was the Riva – which many of us still associate with Lada – is now long gone. Nowadays the company produces cars including the Granta and Vista sedans and the Xray crossover, among other models.
One model that had survived largely unchanged from the days of the Riva was the Niva 4X4, which was later renamed as the Vaz-212. It was a no-nonsense off-roader along similar lines to the Land Rover Defender, but nowhere near as revered or iconic as the legendary British four-wheel drive.
The 4X4 Vision concept is therefore sort of Lada’s new take on the old Niva, which the company’s British chief designer, Steve Mattin, says has been designed to showcase Lada’s “philosophy of the ultimate off-road vehicle.” Although the concept isn’t intended to be a direct replacement for the current 4X4, it is being described as a “vision of what the future could look like from Lada.”
Without knowing anything about a potential powertrain or the capability of a possible production version, it has to be said the styling is unlike anything many would have previously have expected from Lada.
Although Lada is still the most popular brand in its home country, it has been coming under increasing pressure from the likes of Kia recently, and its market share has been falling. If the 4X4 Vision concept is an illustration of what’s to come in the company’s recovery plan, the future for Lada is looking very interesting. – AFP Relaxnews