» » The naturally Offroader LADA 4x4 Urban for 402 thousand roubles or $9150 (in Russia)

The naturally Offroader LADA 4x4 Urban for 402 thousand roubles or $9150 (in Russia)

The naturally Offroader LADA 4x4 Urban for 402 thousand roubles or $9150 (in Russia)

For many years the LADA 4x4 is a symbol for brutal power and simplicity, the apotheosis of ascetic four-wheel drive. Now, it is all changed when AVTOVAZ announced its decision to once again modify the existing model which has come off the production lines in Togliatti for the last 38 years. So what was the reason behind the decision to modernise the car, which became controversial amongst the most devoted Niva fans?

The mass production of LADA 4x4 Urban will commence on the 1st October 2014. The paint work will be done by AVTOVAZ using LADA Priora lines and assembly by the “PSA VIS AVTO”, a subsidiary of AVTOVAZ. Annual target is set to be 5000 cars. In the remaining months of 2014 AVTOVAZ is planning to produce 1000 cars. It is worth mentioning that the base model of the LADA 4x4 will still be produced in the same volume as it is now. It looks like the Urban is targeting consumers who prefer to drive four-wheel drive vehicles daily, regardless of the season. What are the main changes in this modification of LADA 4x4? The most noticeable ones are in the exterior of the car.

Comparing to the existing base model, there are the following changes in the Urban modification: front and rear bumpers are completely changed. They became plastic and partially coloured to match the body of the vehicle. The front bumper is combined with the new decorative radiator grille. This grille is also expected to be used on the existing base model VAZ 21214 M3. This trim is designed by AVTOVAZ but will be outsourced to other manufacturers.

The paint work is done using LADA Priora lines. The body shell will be brought here after welding by special transport. The colour schemes for LADA 4x4 Urban are the following: metallic - space, panther, coriander, and Odysseus, Perseus and Port Wine. Non-metallic are: Jasper, Baltic and White. The price of the model is expected to be between 415 and 435 thousand roubles.

Now let's have a look at what is included in the price tag:
Straight away, you can see the well fitted, colour matched with the rest of the body, bumpers. Beneath them there are metal beams in accordance with all safety rules and certification standards, for example rule number 12 of EEC UN. The sample car we had is fitted with 16-inch wheels with domestic tyres and decorative chrome plastic wheel caps. As far as I understood, they are just temporary. When mass produced, the off roader will be fitted with cast wheel rims of the same size. The tyres are the same as on the base model - 185/75/16, but there is an intention to fit 195 tyres on the original rims. The company that is responsible for manufacturing is already named, it is KICK. The bumpers are sturdier than they look and totally suitable for city driving. The materials used are ABS plus polycarbonate and steel beam. The original towing eyes and brackets remain. With the new bumpers the length of the car is reduced by 100 mm so the parking on the curb in the city won`t be a problem anymore. The “LADA ship” on the grille looks bigger and is more pronounced.

Next noticeable difference is the new black side mirrors with aerodynamic shape. They are heated and electrically adjustable. The corresponding switch is located on the centre console. The electric window mechanisms are of the “scissors” type made by the firm DZS. By default, they are more reliable and long-life because are consisted of only two parts. There is a separate 20 AMP fuse for them. One more of the exterior differences are the black door handles to match the radiator grille and the windows trim which is no more chrome like on the original LADA 4x4. The shape of rear wiper arm is changed as well but it is more an aesthetic than an operational change while the front wiper blades are bigger.

The interior of the off-roader has not changed a lot at a first glance. What is immediately noticeable is the new three-composition seat upholstery from “AvtoVAZagregat” with bright stitching and the new centre console. There you can find the windows operating switches, the mirrors adjustment switches, two-cup holders, ashtray, cigarette lighter, coin holder and….three familiar levers: the transmission lever, the transfer-case box lever and the locking differential lever. However, this is going to change very soon.

Sergey Smirnov, LADA 4x4 project manager:
“We have a lot of complaints from the Niva owners on the noise and vibration of the transfer box. In the Urban which is a more city oriented modification, we plan to remove the low gear in the transfer box and switch to electrically operated difflock. We are currently in the middle of the tests. What we earn? We can remove 2 levers out of 3 and just put plugs to reduce the level of noise coming from the transfer box into the cabin of the car. We do not plan to modify the 21214 model; instead we are going to improve the quality of the box. Right now, we work hard in the direction of improving the quality of the gearbox and the transfer-case box.”

As I said before, the LADA 4x4 Urban differs from the base model. From the 1st October 2014 there will be a “Frost” air conditioning unit with air compressor of spiral type which is more reliable and less noisy, much smaller and more economic than piston type air compressor which is currently used on all LADA models. The air conditioning installation is much improving the quality of the car for the consumers. Why? First, the manufacturer insists that the air circulation system is now functioning properly due to improved construction and elimination of the hot air suction. The future will show if that`s true. Second, the distribution of air currents is optimized. Now it is regulated in 3 directions, you can adjust it in all directions, including foot position which corresponds to the “middle” position of the handle. It also excludes the lever of lower air vents down, near the driver`s feet. Third, the temperature adjustment of the air conditioning will be done only with a thermostat located on the instrument cluster on the right of the steering wheel. Middle position of the regulator will coincide with air temperature of 9 degrees Celsius, all the way to the right for 18 degrees and all way to the left for 0 degrees Celsius. There is no more need to mix air currents by regulators. Fourth, in the upgraded heater there was used the electric fan from the Samara model with roller bearing which improves the general power. On the first speed the fan sounds much quieter.

Following the recommendations of specialists to increase reliability of steering and reduce workload on the bearing of the power steering pump, a separate air compressor belt is implemented. Among the changes in the cabin there is a roof trim panel under the sun visors with interior light. The heated front seats will be offered as an option, the switches for them will be located on the instrument panel. This option will be available in the Lux edition of the LADA 4x4 Urban. Lux edition will also include ABS, central locking and parking sensors. Steering wheel is smaller in diameter - 380 mm with two horn buttons on it.

There are some changes which are not visual but nonetheless important, for example vibration and noise reducing insulation of the cabin. The material used is Vibroplast and it is going to improve the whole experience of driving in the city. In the future, after implementing the electric remote operating there are plans to switch to the gearbox lever of the VAZ- 2123 model. The main technical characteristics of the Niva 4x4 Urban such as the suspension, the transmission and the engine are the same as in the base model 21214. At the beginning of the production there will be 3 approved colour schemes including original for the 4x4 enamel but only one variant of the seats upholstery. The warranty for the city modification LADA 4x4 Urban will cover the same aspects as for the base model.

Yury Yefimov,
Togliatti, 2014

My special thanks: Yannis Mandas and LADA Spares UK
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Источник: Лада Нива Клуб

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  • 6-11-2014, 17:57
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