LADA NIVA - Modifications and export

The launch of the SUV Niva production line was in the year 1977. The new model VAZ 2121 was functional, comfortable and cheap enough. They got up the main production, based on the good demand of population, till the year 1980. The applications for cars were coming from different parts of the world. 1978 the export modification VAZ 21211 (1.3L) was created for South Europe, where were high taxes for engine's volume and expensive fuel. And for English market RHD modification VAZ 21212 was released.


As the time passed such characteristics as relatively small cabin capacity made people think about the creation of more capable car, that pushed ones of VAZ workers, which people can call enthusiasts, to create a new variation of the SUV. So they created 6 samples of VAZ Sahara. The base was extended and cabin volume became bigger. This model became a framework for future engineering company Bronto, not existing that time. Hereinafter the modification 2129 was created. On the base of VAZ 2129 on account of adding of rear doors modification VAZ 2131 appeared - extended for 50 cm five-doors model on the base of VAZ 21213. Because of peculiar look it got a moniker - the crocodile.


The military force of the USSR showed the interest for this car, that's why the model VAZ 2122 "Reka". The advantage of this modification was a hermetic bottom and an open two-door body, and a tarpaulin roof. This project started 1976. That was the order of the USSR Ministery of defense. The aim was: to make an amphibian car on the Niva's base. VAZ workers managed to do this perfect, as evidenced by final tests of the off-roader. However this project wasn't carried out because of financial difficulties.


1999 appeared export version VAZ 21215 on the base of diesel engine Pejo XUD 9SD. This car was being produced in small-batch for export till 2008, its assembly included an improved body kit in the form of bumpers, alloy wheels, linings, spoilers and etc. On the base of already existing in that moment VAZ 2121 for foreign countries an export commercial variant VAZ 2121F was created. It was dominated by the body type of van, with the rear of the cabin, turned into a cargo compartment, which was achieved by replacing the side windows with iron panels. The rear seat and decorative trim were removed, but in the hold for the fixation of freight were special guides, and there was installed a tubular protection against cargo shift by stopping behind the front seats.


From 1996 till 2005 the extended for 30 sm version of model 2123 was produced in small batch, it got the name VAZ 212180 FORA. The Differences from all modifications were increased by the width of the door, the rear part of the roof raised by a plastic superstructure, also a more comfortable wide rear 3-seater seat, and due to the use of larger wheels, the spare wheel was fixed above the rear bumper. The basic equipment included fire extinguishing system in the engine compartment, taken from the armored vehicle "Fors". Installation of power steering, air conditioning and the so-called "bull-bar" in front of the grille was provided


For servicing banks and collectors an armored modification was created, which was given the name VAZ 212182 "Fors". This model was equipped with an automatic fire extinguishing system in the engine compartment, an additional battery, air conditioning. However, the body added a total of 430 kilos, because of which it was necessary to strengthen the suspension. Chassis received reinforced shock absorbers and thick springs.


The medical needs were also not ignored, on the basis of the model VAZ 2131 the ambulance car VAZ 2131 SP was made, which due to the increased volume of the trunk allowed to transport safely the patient and two accompanying doctors with the necessary equipment.


2001 a second-generation SUV VAZ 2123 was created, it received a more spacious 5-door body. But, unfortunately, because of the small budget support, AvtoVAZ was forced to sell the license and rights to the NIVA brand to General Motors. Since 2002, the VAZ 2123 was produced under the brand Chevrolet Niva.

  • LADA NIVA - Modifications and export

Tags lada, niva, modifications, export, history