Lada Looks To The Future With Magnasteyr-Engineered C Concept

Could Lada ever make a comeback to the UK? It’s not impossible - and a new concept car on the Russian manufacturer’s stand shows that the company’s next-generation of cars will be a far cry from the old Communist-era Rivas and Samaras of the past.

The Lada C is an aggressive-looking C-segment three-door hot hatch, powered by a 2-litre petrol engine, and is the first fruits of Lada-maker AvtoVAZ’s new alliance with contract manufacturer MagnaSteyr. The new platform will become the base for the next generation of Lada production cars, which will be launched in the near future, according to Lada spokesman Denis Metalnikov.

MagnaSteyr has designed the platform, but AvtoVAZ’s own Russian designers have styled the Lada C, which is part of a family of cars to be built on the platform, including a sedan, a five-door hatch, a compact MPV and a crossover. All the vehicles will comply with stringent European emissions and safety regulations, and will be built at a new plant being set up on AvtoVAZ’s vast Togliatti factory, and which will be managed by MagnaSteyr, Metalnikov said.

Strong sales in Russia have kept Lada alive - the company still builds around 700,000 cars a year. And it exports its current models to left-hand drive markets in Europe: at Geneva it showed new variants of the Kalina small car, including a 1.6-litre GHTI version and a new estate body.

AvtoVAZ also has a joint venture with General Motors, building the Lada-developed Niva SUV and SKD versions of the new Chevrolet Captiva. And it is in talks with Renault about setting up another production line to build the Logan ‘world car’.

12 March 2007 Staff

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