Sunday 8 March 2015
The VAZ-2105, VAZ-2104 and VAZ-2107 (collectively known as the Lada Riva in the United Kingdom and the Lada Nova in much of continental Europe) are a series of medium-sized family cars built by Russian car manufacturer AvtoVAZ, introduced in 1980 in the Soviet Union, and progressively in other European markets through the early 1980s and sold in both saloon and estate versions. AvtoVAZ cars are currently branded as Ladas.
Today they are generally referred to as the Lada Classic series, being derived from the original Fiat 124 platform which has been the now-iconic mainstay of the AvtoVAZ lineup since the company's foundation in the late 1960s. The production in Russia ended between 2010 and 2012, however, the Lada 2107 remains in production in Egypt.
It is the third best selling automobile platform after the Volkswagen Beetle and the Ford Model T, and one of the longest production run platforms alongside the Volkswagen Beetle, the Hindustan Ambassador and the Volkswagen Type 2.
Although introduced in 1979 and first produced in quantity in 1980, the Riva's origins are older: it is a restyled version of the original Lada type VAZ-2101 Zhiguli saloon, which was introduced in 1970 and itself is a license copy of '1966-'1974 Fiat 124. The Riva itself is officially designated – and known in the home market – as VAZ-2105 (base saloon), VAZ-2104 (estate), and VAZ-2107 (deluxe saloon identified by the large chromed grille).Lada Riva design was copied from the '1975-'1980 SEAT 124,restyled by Giorgetto Giugiaro, which was based on license built '1966 Fiat 124['1968-'1974 SEAT 124].Other names sometimes used include Pyatyorka ("the five"), Chetvyorka ("the four") and Semyorka ("the seven"). In Russia, VAZ-2105, VAZ-2104, and VAZ-2107 are considered to be different cars rather than variants but nonetheless all of them are part of a single "Klassika" ("Classic") family along with older models such as the VAZ-2101.
Mechanically, the car is virtually identical to the first-generation VAZ-2101, featuring the Fiat-derived manual transmissions, coil spring suspension all round, and aluminum drum brakes on the rear wheels. The smaller-engined variant, the 65 hp (48 kW; 66 PS) 1,294 cc (79.0 cu in) version (VAZ-2105) had a revamp of its inline four-cylinder compared to the original VAZ-2101 (Lada 1200). The old OHC design had its camshaft driven by chain, while the new one had a toothed belt drive. Nonetheless, the Riva's larger-engined version (VAZ-2107) carried on with the old 1,452 cc (88.6 cu in) chain-driven OHC engine coming over from the original Lada 1500 (VAZ-2103) of 1973. Another change was made to the engine in 1992, when single point fuel injection and catalytic converters were specified in an attempt to keep up with emissions legislation.
The 2107 was announced in 1982, offered as the luxury version (and the most expensive), with improved interior (including front headrests), a new instrument panel, and chrome grille (resembling a Mercedes); it came with either 1,294 cc (79.0 cu in) (21072) or 1,570 cc (96 cu in) (21074) engines. (The 21079 was a Wankel engined version.)
The first 2104 estate appeared in 1984, in three models: the 2104 with 1,294 cc (79.0 cu in); the 21041 with 1,198 cc (73.1 cu in); and the 21043 with 1,452 cc (88.6 cu in) (VAZ-2103) engine.
Export sales proved to be very good, both in Eastern Europe and the West, including Britain, Finland, Holland, New Zealand (where it served as a taxi), and Canada(the only market to offer whitewall tires). Canadian 2107s were "briefly sold as the Dennis Signet", after the importer, Peter Dennis Motor Corporation. Canadian sales, along with several European markets, ended on 4 July 1997.
Tightening safety and emissions legislation led to the Riva being withdrawn from most Western European markets by 1997, although it remained in production at the AvtoVAZ factory in the Russian Federation and was sold as the Lada Classic. In 2002, production of the estate model was taken over by Izh, before assembly was also started at the Bogdan Group's LuAZ plant, and later in Cherkasy. The 2107 model has been in production, not only at AutoVAZ but also at the ZAZ factory in Ukraine, and at Suzuki's factory in Egypt. In August 2011, Russian production of both the 2105 and 2107 have been completely moved to Izh.
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 1294 cc
- horsepower: 69 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 145 km/h