The Lada Riva is infamous for its Russian heritage and status as Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson's "worst car in the world." But Lada is making sure there won't be a Riva to kick around anymore: production of the venerable sedan – perhaps akin to Russia’s Ford Crown Victoria -- finally ceased on Monday.
Depending on which way you look at it, the Riva has been in production for either 30 years, 42 years, or 46 years: the Riva began production in 1982, but is heavily based on the late VAZ-2101 from 1970. The VAZ, in turn, is heavily based on the Fiat 124 sedan, which started production in 1966. It's equally complicated to figure out what exactly the car was named: over its life span, the car had many different names. Domestically, it was referred to as the VAZ-2105 and VAZ-2107, depending on the trim level, and the 2107 was nicknamed was the seven, or semyorka, in Russian. The 2105 also spawned a station wagon version, dubbed the VAZ-2104, which will also be discontinued by the end of the year.
It should come as little surprise that this move is happening: while Ladas enjoyed modest success both in Europe and the Soviet Union during their heyday, the car was pulled from European markets in the late 1990s due to safety and emissions issues, and today's Lada shoppers much prefer newer models like the Granta, a model co-developed with Renault.
The Granta will be built on the Izhevsk, Russia line that made the Riva, as soon as August of this year. The car has between 80 and 98 horsepower, based on trim level, and either one or two front airbags. Drivers frustrated with the Riva's antiquated nature, also note that the top-spec Granta Lux model has front heated seats, power windows, air conditioning, and a CD player.
If there’s any solace for Lada traditionalists, it’s this: the Lada Niva, a crude, 40-year-old compact SUV, remains in production.
Source: Moscow News