Car premieres

Lada Iskra 2024: AvtoVAZ’s new breakthrough in the budget segment

ABOUTThe domestic automaker AvtoVAZ is preparing to present a fundamentally new model of the Russian car - the Lada Iskra, which promises to raise the bar for quality, technology and design for the entire Russian automobile industry. The presentation of the car took place at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June 2024 and aroused great interest among both ordinary car enthusiasts and industry experts.

From idea to implementation: the difficult path of Iskra

Start of the project and cooperation with Renault-Nissan

The development of the Lada Iskra started several years ago, during the period of AvtoVAZ’s close partnership with the Japanese-French Renault-Nissan alliance. It was assumed that the new model would be built on a completely modern working platform CMF-B-LS, which was already used on a number of foreign alliance models, such as the Renault Logan and Sandero 3rd generation.

Lada Iskra 2024: AvtoVAZ’s new breakthrough in the budget segment
Aliya Usmanova / RBC Life

The use of a ready-made “trolley” would significantly reduce costs and development time, as well as improve the consumer qualities of the car through the use of advanced technologies and components. However, in 2022, AvtoVAZ’s foreign shareholders decided to leave Russia, which put the future of the Iskra project in question.

Deep processing and adaptation to new realities

Having lost the support of foreign partners, AvtoVAZ engineers had to urgently look for ways to solve the problems that arose. The original CMF-B-LS platform has undergone major revision and adaptation to minimize dependence on foreign components. About 400 changes were made to the design of the future Iskra: the power elements of the body were revised, steel grades were changed, and new suppliers were found in friendly countries, primarily in China and Iran.

Lada Iskra 2024: AvtoVAZ’s new breakthrough in the budget segment
Aliya Usmanova / RBC Life

As a result of large-scale processing, essentially a new platform was born, which received the in-plant index XJO. At the same time, the developers managed to preserve the main advantages of the original “trolley”, such as advanced electronic architecture, a high level of passive safety, and good interior layout capabilities. The total investment in the Lada Iskra project amounted to 23 billion rubles, which is three times less than the originally planned costs.

Design and dimensions: evolution of the Lada corporate style

Family features and balanced proportions

The work on the appearance of the Lada Iskra was led by the famous British designer Steve Mattin, who, before leaving the company in 2020, managed to determine the main directions for the development of AvtoVAZ’s signature X-shaped style. It was Mattin who was at the origins of the current Lada design code, first tested on the XCode concept and later applied on the production Vesta and XRay models.

The new Iskra retains recognizable generic features, such as expressive stampings on the sides of the body, chrome-plated super “boomerangs” in the front bumper area and arrow-shaped headlights with LED running lights. At the same time, the car turned out to be visually more restrained and harmonious compared to the older Vesta. The designers tried to find the optimal balance between individuality and continuity, dynamics and elegance.

Verified sizes and proportions

In terms of its dimensions, the Lada Iskra is located exactly in the middle between the compact Granta and the larger Vesta. The body length is 4333 mm, which is 53 mm longer than that of the Granta and 93 mm less than that of the Vesta. The width of the new product is 1777 mm, height - 1517 mm. The wheelbase reaches a respectable 2603 mm (only 33 mm less than that of the Vesta), which has a positive effect on the spaciousness in the cabin and the smoothness of the ride. Read about characteristics more details

Lada Iskra 2024: AvtoVAZ’s new breakthrough in the budget segment
Aliya Usmanova / RBC Life

Balanced proportions and a calibrated wheelbase are not the only trump cards of the new product. As befits a modern car, the Iskra has optimized body aerodynamics to reduce noise levels at high speeds and improve fuel efficiency. A ground clearance of 170 mm will allow you to feel confident not only on asphalt, but also on light off-road conditions.

Interior and equipment: modern and functional

New front panel and improved ergonomics

The interior of the Lada Iskra is a combination of modern design, thoughtful ergonomics and high-quality finishing materials. The central place is occupied by a completely new front panel, made in the style of the second generation Renault Duster crossover. The two large rectangular deflectors in the center look especially impressive, between which the touch display of the multimedia system is located.

Lada Iskra 2024: AvtoVAZ’s new breakthrough in the budget segment
Aliya Usmanova / RBC Life

The steering column switches, borrowed from Renault models, as well as the modern instrument cluster with a color on-board computer screen deserve special mention. In expensive trim levels, the steering wheel and gear selector will be trimmed in leather, which will raise the prestige of the interior to a new level. In general, the interior of the Lada Iskra looks harmonious and solid, only slightly inferior in design and materials to more expensive foreign cars.

Wide range of personalization options

In addition to the basic fabric trim, the Lada Iskra's interior will be available in several colors, including two-tone leather upholstery. For an additional fee, you can order other comfort options, such as heated front and rear seats, electrically adjustable driver's seat, dual-zone climate control, cruise control and much more.

Top versions of the Iskra will receive a full range of modern electronic assistants, including a stabilization system, light and rain sensors, parking sensors, and a standard rear view camera. It is possible that such features as wireless charging for a smartphone, a head-up display, an electric parking brake, keyless entry and the already familiar engine start button will appear. Of course, all this wealth will be offered for an additional fee, but in the basic configuration the Lada Iskra will be very affordable.

Equipment and units: rational approach

Familiar engines and gearboxes

AvtoVAZ did not develop new power units specifically for the Lada Iskra, limiting itself to modernizing already known engines and gearboxes. The base for the sedan will be the 1.6-liter 90-horsepower VAZ-11182 engine, which is combined with a 5-speed manual transmission. A more powerful 106-horsepower version of the same engine (VAZ-21127) will be available with both a manual transmission and a continuously variable transmission from the Chinese company Jatco.

In the future, the Iskra engine line may be supplemented by a 1.8-liter 122-horsepower VAZ-21179 unit, familiar from the Vesta family. It is possible that “charged” versions with forced engines will appear, which will compete with the popular Volkswagen Polo GT and Skoda Rapid Monte Carlo. In all cases, the drive will be only front-wheel drive, and instead of a rear multi-link, a semi-independent beam will be used - these are the features of the original B0 platform.

Design features and chassis

Despite the extensive redesign, the Lada Iskra is based on the familiar B0 platform from Renault. The McPherson front suspension has an increased steering angle and new shock absorbers with variable damping characteristics. The rear semi-independent torsion beam suspension has increased rigidity for better handling. The rack and pinion steering is equipped with an electric power steering with variable steering force.

The Lada Iskra brake system has also been modernized: the diameter of the front disc mechanisms has been increased, new pads with improved friction material have been used. Rear drum brakes are installed only on the basic version with a 90-horsepower engine; all other modifications have all-round disc brakes. Of course, the Iskra's basic equipment includes ABS with EBD brake force distribution.

Options and positioning: place in the Lada line

Positioning and main competitors

The new Lada Iskra is designed to occupy a niche between the ultra-budget Granta family and the more prestigious Vesta family. The model will be offered in three body types: sedan, station wagon and cross-station wagon. Iskra's main competitors on the Russian market will be localized B-class foreign cars, such as Kia Rio, Hyundai Solaris, Volkswagen Polo and Skoda Rapid. Don’t discount “Chinese” models like Chery Bonus 3, Geely Emgrand 7, FAW Oley and Lifan Solano.

Lada Iskra 2024: AvtoVAZ’s new breakthrough in the budget segment
Aliya Usmanova / RBC Life

The approximate starting price of the basic Lada Iskra sedan is about 1 million rubles. This is about 300 thousand more than they ask for the initial Granta, but almost a quarter cheaper than the basic Vesta. The Iskra station wagon will cost at least 1.2 million rubles, and the cross-version will add another 100-150 thousand to this amount. However, closer to the start of sales at the beginning of 2025, price lists may be adjusted more than once taking into account the market situation and currency fluctuations.

Model prospects

If successful, the Lada Iskra could become a real lifesaver for AvtoVAZ, which was seriously affected by the departure of foreign partners and a drop in demand amid the crisis. The release of the new product will allow the company not only to improve its financial performance, but also to significantly update its model range. It is possible that in the future Iskra will displace the obsolete Granta from the production line and become the most popular model of the brand.

In addition, the XJO platform that underlies the Iskra could become the basis for a whole family of new Lada cars. In particular, it is possible to develop a compact crossover that can replace the current Niva Travel. The main thing is that AvtoVAZ has enough resources and perseverance to implement its plans even in turbulent conditions.

Summary

Lada Iskra is one of the most anticipated new products in the Russian automobile industry in recent years. The model is designed to strengthen AvtoVAZ’s position in the budget B-class and offer buyers a worthy alternative to foreign cars that have left the market. Despite the difficult fate of the project, engineers from Togliatti managed to create a modern and competitive car, which at the same time remains true to the traditions of the brand.

Expressive design, spacious interior, wide choice of trim levels and relatively affordable prices - all this should attract the attention of a wide range of consumers to Iskra. Of course, a lot will depend on the level of quality and reliability of the car, but if AvtoVAZ manages to avoid “childhood sores”, then the new product will certainly be a commercial success. All we have to do is wait for the official start of sales and get to know the Lada Iskra in person - it looks like one of the main automotive premieres awaits us

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Lada Iskra 2024: новый прорыв АвтоВАЗа в бюджетном сегменте
Lada Iskra 2024: AvtoVAZ’s new breakthrough in the budget segment