NIVA in Antarctica
NIVA in Antarctica The ordinary Niva worked in Antarctica for 15 years, at the Bellingshausen station. In 1989 the Volga automobile plant decided to conduct long-term tests of the VAZ-2121 in extreme conditions of Antarctica. In 1990 the car which underwent a small technical revision, was sent to the Russian polar station "Bellingshausen", becoming, according to sources, the first wheeled vehicle operating in Antarctica. After the tests Niva remained at the station at the request of scientists and continued to operate.
In the temperature range from -54 to +4 degrees she transported various cargoes, including scientific equipment, towed ships, helped in providing medical care, provided communication between neighboring polar stations and met visitors to Antarctica. Subsequently all foreign stations in Antarctica got their own SUVs – mostly American-made. Usually their service life was no more than five years, while the "Niva" worked in Antarctica for as long as 15 years.
After traveling more than 40 thousand kilometers there, Niva returned to its homeland in may 2005. Now the hero car has been restored and is in the AVTOVAZ Museum. In 2014, it was shown at the Automotive industry exhibition at the VVC in Moscow.