Famously Russian car company Lada has released a funky, chunky 4x4 concept SUV that maybe, just maybe, might end up being the successor to the famous Niva. With a deep and cool-looking X-shape in the doors and a hyper-modern interior, the 4X4 Vision concept is likely to capture a bit of attention.
Remember the Lada Niva? I sure do, I spent valuable hours of my early 20s pushing one that a friend owned when it wouldn't start. She'd bought that quirky little box of a thing because it was cheap and charming and basic. She was unable to sell it, because it exhibited typical Niva levels of fit, finish and reliability. They were renowned for being easy to fix, if you had some mechanical knowledge, but even easier to break, often doing so without any assistance whatsoever, and we used to take bets on which parts would fall off when we took it for a drive.
To be fair, it was a poor fit for urban conditions with perfectly sealed roads. The Niva reportedly excelled when the roads turned to sludge, with its light weight, low-ratio transfer gearbox, diff lock and hose-outable interior. In fact, the Niva is still on sale in Russia, largely if not wholly unchanged from what it looked like in the '70s.
In the last few years, Lada has owned as much as 20 percent of the Russian domestic car market. And last week, the company presented a pretty nice-looking concept at the 2018 Moscow International Auto Show that many are speculating could carry the Niva name forward into a new century.
The 4x4 Vision, though, couldn't look further from the humble Niva. Its chunky design looks tactical-tough, like a military jerry can on wheels. The chunky X-shapes carved out by its side lines look like something Nissan might be kicking itself for not inventing on the X-Trail, while the grille wouldn't be out of place on a Ford concept. The t-shaped sunroof also looks super cool, and the wheel-at-each-corner stance should offer impressive off-road performance going over steep angles.
And then there's the interior. Golly gosh. The heavily textured seats look nothing less than futuristic, the bold black/grey/luminescent orange color scheme looks young and sporty, and the colorful dash and infotainment system – which appears to include topographical mapping – looks pretty out there as well.
It's not a bad looking vehicle at all. It's just a concept, but it sure looks like something that could be popular. If it goes.
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