MOSCOW -- Lada unveiled a concept car previewing a replacement for its 4x4, more than 40 years after the budget off-roader first appeared.
The 4x4 Vision borrows design cues from the 4x4, which is called the Niva in export markets outside of Russia. The 4x4 continues to sell well despite its age.
"It's an icon and a legend. We have taken a lot of the design DNA and interpreted it in a modern way and incorporated it into our current design language,” Lada design chief Steve Mattin, told Automotive News Europe on the sidelines of the auto show here. He didn’t say when a production model would arrive.
References to the current car's design include the "eyebrow" lights above the main headlights, a nod to the high-mounted indicators, as well the vertical front end and the clamshell hood. It also includes a version of the current car's rear ventilator openings in the rear pillar.
At first glance, the 4x4 Vision looks like it keeps the three-door body style, but the concept is a five-door with the rear pair hinged at the back to help hide them.
"The iconic 4x4 is a three-door, but we wanted to create a bigger vehicle,” Mattin said.
The car is still short by modern SUV standards at with a length of 4200mm.
Lada said the car had a traditional low-ratio gearbox and more modern driver aids to ensure it had "unbeatable" off-road performance in its segment.
The concept updates Lada’s “X” design language that uses a cross motif in the grille as well as along the bodysides.