The Return of a Classic LADA
By James Grahame
English Russia has posted a couple of grainy camera phone shots of what is apparently a modernized version of the vintage LADA 2107. The boxy original was withdrawn from the western European market in the late 1990s after over 25 years of production, although I vividly recall seeing one offered as a prize on a TV game show in the former Soviet Union during the summer of 2003.
At any rate, the new "2107M" definitely appears to have been sired by the very same Fiat 124 that provided the inspiration for the original line. The headlights and taillights have been restyled to resemble a modern Italian washing machine, and the trim and mirrors are now a svelte shade of black plastic. All in all, it's a remarkable impersonation of a 1980s Czech Skoda.
If this turns out to be the real thing, Autovaz might be trying to make a few sales from well-heeled patriots who remember the "good old days" when Russian streets were filled with "proper" cars, rather than the motley collection of second-hand Japanese and German vehicles that predominate these days. Sadly, I suspect the average middle class Russian now aspires to a sleek Toyota or Renault instead.