Lada Niva will get a new gasoline engine with diesel character, it will fit in among the replacements for the canceled new generation
today | Petr Prokopec
The Niva was soon to arrive in a truly new generation that would share the underpinnings with Dacia’s upcoming larger SUV. However, Lady’s collaboration with Renault was forcibly interrupted, so the Russians have to help themselves to at least partial news.
Four years ago, the General Motors concern decided to sell its stake in the American-Russian company that gave birth to the Chevrolet Niva. The entire project thus fell to AvtoVAZ, which renamed the jointly developed SUV to Lada and after a fairly extensive, especially visual modernization, gave it the nickname Travel. Under this name, the car is still sold today, and as in 1998, when it was first shown, it is powered by a 1.7-liter four-cylinder engine. But the roots of this engine are much longer and go back to the original Žigulík, which saw the light of day as early as 1970 under the designation VAZ-2101.
It is for these reasons that the intentions of the Russian car manufacturer, which were broadcast by the local Avtopotok, are truly groundbreaking. The Russians intend to equip the Niva Travel with a new engine, specifically a one-eighth. This does not sound so fundamental, after all it is the same unit that powers the Lada Vesta, for example. Nevertheless, it was to undergo many significant changes, when, among other things, the sixteen-valve technology was replaced by an eight-valve one. As a result, the output dropped from 122 to 90 hp, but the torque and power flow at lower and medium revs were increased. The exact values are not yet known, however, above 1,500 rpm, its curve should be flat like that of diesel engines, which is, of course, the intention for an off-road car.
Along with the new power unit, the front bumper will also change, and the chassis will also receive modifications. But that still won’t be the last step. For 2026, the Russians are preparing another modernization, which will concern the interior, lighting and some electronic components. It is therefore more than certain that Niva Travel will remain on offer at least until the end of the decade. And we would not be at all surprised if the same was the case with Lady Niva Legend, which was originally revealed back in 1977.
The reason for stretching life cycles to the maximum is, unsurprisingly, the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine, which resulted in a number of economic sanctions. Because of them, Renault also decided to sell its share in AvtoVAZ, under whose baton the completely new Niva was created together with the larger Dacia SUV. Therefore, only the Romanian car company can count on the CMF-B platform, which in the end gives more possibilities for expansion, as Niva will look rather peripherally outside of Russia.
Let’s add that today Nivu Travel sells the Lada from RUB 1,198,900, which means from about CZK 304,000. Even though it is the second most expensive model of the brand, it is still a very affordable car. The upcoming modernization will hardly change anything big.
In its current form, the Niva Travel will be sold from 2021. According to current reports, this SUV will get a new engine and bumper, and in two years, a redesigned interior, lights and electronics. Photo: AvtoVAZ
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