New 2015 Lada Vesta To Take On Russian Roads, WTCC Tracks
One of Russia's most highly anticipated new vehicles isn't a tank or a tractor, it's the 2015 Lada Vesta! The stylish sedan will make its debut this August at the Moscow International Motorshow decked in the form of its sportiest variant, a concept intended to compete for the World Touring Car Championship.
Non-Russian readers might be familiar with Lada: millions of alarmingly boxy sedans based on the 1966 FIAT 124 were exported to Canada, the UK and Germany in the 1980s and 1990s.
Clad in thicker sheetmetal and designed to survive the rigors of Russia's poor roads and climatic extremes, the “classic” Lada sedans were a nice little hard-currency earner for the wheezing Soviet economy.
Times have changed and so has Lada. As the brand name for AvtoVAZ, based in the southern city of Tolyatti, the marque now markets a range of modern cars and trucks while maintaining (since 2008) a solid presence at the annual World Touring Car Championship.
In 2014, a factory-backed team running race-ready Lada Granta 1600T WTCC cars (above) achieved their best result to date, scoring a fifth-place finish at the season's only race on Russian soil... er, asphalt. The only fly in the ointment was the race-prepared Grantas were too heavy, forcing the team to compete with an added penalty throughout the 2014 racing season. Replacing the Granta with the new, lighter Vesta would solve the weight issue while providing a sporty tie-in to the new model's introduction.
“Racing is the right approach for LADA,” confirmed company president Bo Andersson in an interview with the Russian ITAR-TASS news agency. “The visitors of the Moscow Motor Show will have a chance to see the new LADA Vesta racecar that has been designed for competition in the FIA World Touring Car Championship.”
“We have a lot of fans and people who support this program,” added the Swedish-born Andersson, “so the company's involvement in motorsport is important and we need to win.” A win on the showroom floor wouldn't hurt either, amiright Bo? (via TouringCars.net, Unique Autos, and VK)