Lada Niva 1-7

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Keywords: Lada Niva 1-7
Description: Lada Niva Friends go to Russia in their Niva's.

The Lada Niva  or VAZ-2121  (Russian :  Лада Нива ; Niva (нива ) is the Russian  word for "crop field") is an off-road vehicle  produced by the Russian (former Soviet) manufacturer AvtoVAZ. It was also marketed as the Lada Sport  in Iceland, [3]  Lada Taiga  in Austria, Bognor  Diva  inUruguay. the Lada Cossack in Britain, [4]  and is offered since 2009 on most markets as the Lada 4x4 .

It was one of the first mass production off-road vehicles to feature a unibody  architecture, independent front suspension  and coil suspension, and is a predecessor to current crossover SUVs  which nearly all follow this format; it inspired the Suzuki Vitara. [5]  Pickup and emergency van versions are produced by VAZInterService .

A notable Niva buyer in May 2009 was Russia's then-premier Vladimir Putin. [6]  He flaunted his camouflage-painted offroader in the Russian media, to boost AvtoVAZ's 'vehicles' sales despite the financial crisis' [7]  - but, in January 2010, he admitted to students in Cheboksary his vehicle had a German-made Opel engine. "It turns out that it's more powerful," he added. [8]

A 1.7-litre petrol engine was introduced later in production, as was single-point fuel injection  supplied initially by General Motors. Around this time the rear hatch was revised to have a lower opening. Multi-point fuel injection  designed by Bosch is used currently since 2004. In some markets a 1.9LPeugeot  XUD  diesel powered Niva was sold.

Coil springs  are located at each of the four wheels. and suspension  is independent in front, whereas the rear axle  is a 5 link live-type, with ratios between 3.90 and 4.30 depending on the model and market. Ground clearance is good at 235 mm (9.25 in) and water 510 mm (20 in) deep can be negotiated.

The brakes  (disc front, drum rear) are servo -assisted dual-circuit style and the clutch  is hydraulic. The turning circle is a relatively low 36.25'. Cargo space is 0.48 m³ (17 ft³), or 1.33 m³ (47 ft³) with the rear seats folded down. A spare tyre  is located in the engine bay under the bonnet. The latter feature is considered a useful and practical feature by off-road fans.

A soft top version appeared in 1983, bodied by French coachbuilder  Wassermann ; [21]  this was known as the Niva Plein Soleil  (Sunlight). [22]

In 1985, the transmission  was changed to a five-speed; because the transfer case  is a separate unit, it remains very noisy and creates excessive vibration. [23]

During the 1980s local Lada importers in various markets made their own upgrades to help compete with more modern SUVs. In the UK the Cossack model featured large body decals, roof rails, running boards, 15" alloy wheels, and on some versions a sunroof. steel bullbars. spotlights, a rear-mounted spare tyre and semi-bucket seats. Other markets' importers made similar upgrades and many were also called Cossack .

There were several attempts to reintroduce Ladas back into the UK. In May 2010, the basic Niva became available again, through an independent importer. Aimed largely at the agricultural market, three models were made available (all LHD ), the 3-door 4-seat hatchback at £10,000, a 2-seat commercial van, £8000 and a 2-door, 4-seat pickup for £12,000. All meet the current UK Vehicle Certification Agency standards. The only engine available is the 1.7 litre petrol, but this can be provided with or without a LPG  conversion. [24]



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