Lada is practically unknown outside of Russia and Central Asia, but the company is ambitious. In an effort to modernize its antiquated lineup, the Russian automaker has revealed its first-ever all-electric vehicle.
Called the “EL”, the model was developed in-house and is based on the last-gen Kalina station wagon. It is powered by a 60-kilowatt electric motor fueled by a battery pack under the floor, allowing the car to run from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 13 seconds and reach a top speed of 80 mph.
The battery offers a maximum driving range of around 93 miles and is fully rechargeable in eight hours.
Not available to the general public, the EL will initially be loaned to taxi drivers in Stavropol, Russia, as part of a pilot program. It will inspire a production model by the end of the decade.
The car debuts at the 2012 Moscow Motor Show.
New Lada Kalina Ready for Russia, Details and Pictures
Although based on an updated version of the previous model’s platform, the car has been improved in every aspect. Engineers from Renault-Nissan, which has a controlling stake in Lada parent company AvtoVAZ, had a part in its overall design. In fact, the Kalina’s new platform will underpin the first car from Nissan’s revived Datsun brand.
With the Kalina II, Lada is slowly but surely entering the modern age of design. The car’s aggressive headlights, honeycomb grille inserts and cohesive proportions lend it a more sophisticated look than its predecessor.
The interior, although still budget-oriented, also has a more sophisticated look. The base model will be offered with few, if any, luxury amenities, but the range-topping Lux model can be had with a touch screen-based infotainment system, air conditioning, rain-sensing wipers and more.
Power is provided by a choice of three 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engines with outputs raning from 87 to 106 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while four-speed automatic is optional.
The new Lada Kalina will be offered as a hatchback and a wagon and is currently on sale in Russia. A version equipped with electronic stability control, standard ABS brakes, navigation, and other luxury and safety features will go on sale in selected European countries before the end of 2013.
First Datsun Model to Ride on Lada Platform
Having recently acquired a stake in Lada, the Renault-Nissan alliance will reportedly use one of the Russian automaker’s platforms for Datsun’s first model. Datsun, the original name of Nissan, was recently revived to act as the Japanese automaker’s low-cost brand.
A sedan, the Datsun will be based on the Lada Granta, which was launched about a year ago. Not much is known about the unnamed car, but Nissan says its engines are being developed in Russia by Lada. We can expect engines.
The Datsun sedan will be built in the AvtoVAZ factory in Togliatti, Russia, and in a new Indonesian plant. As an ultra low cost model, it will be sold in selected emerging market and will be priced between $3,000 and $5,000.
VIDEO: Lada XRAY Crossover Concept
Russian automaker Lada has released a new video of its XRAY Concept showcasing the crossover’s stylish exterior, luxurious interior and cool high-tech features.
Unveiled at the 2012 Moscow Motor Show, the XRAY Concept was designed by ex- Volvo designer Steve Mattin. It has two doors and accommodates four people.