It is only 40 years old: Do you know how the Lada Niva was created?

April 24, 2017 7:45 AM

Lada2Around 20 days ago, on the 5th of April, was marked the 40th anniversary of the start of production of Lada Niva, the legendary off-road car that was kept in factories almost unchanged ever since.

Niva was created just like every other important product in the former Soviet Union – by party decree. In the early ’70s of the last century, President of the Council of Ministers of the USSR Alexei Kosygin during his visit to the factory of AvtoVAZ gave a task to create an inexpensive car that will equally serve “to both soldiers and peasants”.

In AvtoVAZ started with work and the imperative was keeping as many standard parts and solutions applied in other models of Lada. The three proposals were written, and only one of them received the “green light”.

Looking at the genesis of the development of the first prototype (1973), the test fleet of 50 copies (1976) or the first commercial version (1977), there are many contradictions about when was defined the final look and concept of Niva.

The first pre-production samples were made back in 1973. At that time, Niva was announced as a technological miracle – a car that had all the great qualities of road models but also had the ability to overcome wilderness.

Back then, Niva represented a rival to Land Rover, Jeep or Toyota Land Cruser by performances, and it even provided reliable cold start and better heating for the passengers in the extremely cold conditions.

The time has shown that the brave choice for modern transmission provided decades of existence and interest for Niva. A serious limitation in all these decades came from the need to use a standard transmission, which due to the changed “environment” became a source of vibration and noise.

During all these years, Niva went through a minimum of optical and technical alterations.

The biggest change represented renaming. Since 2005, the legendary Niva has become Lada 4×4 because the name Niva was given to a modern SUV from cooperation AvtoVAZ with General Motors.



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