Lada 4x4 mini-motorhome brings Russian-grade adventure in tiny package
When we picked out our list of agile 4x4 tiny motorhomes for escaping society, we homed in on motorhomes based on legendary and popular 4x4s around the US, UK and Australia, a process that left out some small, rugged alternatives from other markets, including the lovable Lada 4x4 (Niva). If you think this three-door 4WD hatchback too small to create an effective motorhome, Russian upfitter Lux Form proves you wrong by transforming it into a super-efficient, sub-5-m (16.4-ft) off-road mini-motorhome that sleeps two and includes a kitchen, bathroom and dinette. Lada builds it to ramble over uncivilized terrain ranging from rocky, knife-edged ridges to frosty expanses, and Lux Form ensures it provides a taste of civilization once parked.
Lux Form didn't reach for just any Lada 4x4 when creating its motorhome, it grabbed hold of the Bronto, the high-riding, factory-customized off-roader with 40-mm (1.6-in) lift, reinforced suspension bits, skid protection, and chunky, extra-wide tires absolutely craving a full meal of soft ground. The 4x4 Bronto comes powered by a humble 82-hp 1.7-liter inline-four, includes front and rear locking differentials and gear reduction, and looks something like this in the showroom:
Lux Form drops on its camper module to create an alcove motorhome that's smaller than many a camper van, measuring just 493 cm (194 in) long. The Bronto camper slides below the 515-cm (203-in) Bela Trendy 1 on the list of tiniest, cutest alcove mini-motorhomes we've seen.
Despite that small size, the Bronto camper packs everything an adventurous twosome needs to live on and off the road. Starting at the very front, the alcove bed expands to a 62 x 78-cm (58 x 198-cm) queen by pulling out over top the dinette below. That dinette comprises a double bench set across from a single bench, with a small, removable table between.
Moving back from the single-seat bench, the compact kitchen block packs in a stainless steel bowl sink, single-burner stove and tiny bit of countertop, with a 70L Dometic fridge/freezer keeping food chilled below. The motorhome entry is just behind the kitchen, near the rear corner. Across the aisle, tucked between the double bench and rear wall, stands the wet bathroom compartment with fiberglass sink, cassette toilet and shower. A closet attached to the front side of the bathroom offers storage space.
Lux Form adds in a full slate of amenities, including an air heater, water heater, 95Ah gel battery and Votronic control panel. Water is stored in a 70L tank.
A downside to building a motorhome on a vehicle as compact as the Bronto, the interior only rises to 61 in (156 cm), so all but the shortest of folks will find themselves hunching over while inside. But we reckon anyone piloting this type of off-road-centric camper rig will prefer spending more time outdoors, anyway.
German Russian vehicle importer Made In Russia announced availability of the 2020 Lux Form 4x4 Bronto motorhome in January. It sells three different interior configuration options, starting at a €29,990 (approx. US$32,725) shell that includes the door and window but no interior furniture or equipment. The €39,990 ($43,650) model packs an interior equipped more like the one above, with a few exceptions, including a smaller fridge and a portable single-burner camping stove in place of the optional inbuilt single-burner.
Those looking for something a little smoother over highway miles than the high, bumpy-tired Bronto can look at Lux Form's other Lada camper. Based on the Granta small car, this one strays from the usual motorhome truck or van face, though the Granta VIS-2349 chassis base is actually a truck chassis used for pickups and other trucks. It has a camper car look to it and is sure to handle about as well as you could ask from any alcove motorhome. The interior layout and equipment packages are the same as on the 4x4 Bronto motorhome, and starting price ranges between €24,990 ($27,275) for the shell to €33,990 ($37,100) for the fully-equipped version.