Chevrolet Niva leaked… or is it? UPDATED
Alleged patent images of the Chevrolet Niva have surfaced online revealing the front and back of the small SUV built as a collaboration between GM and AvtoVAZ in Russia.
THE LADA NIVA IS remembered fondly by some and not so fondly by others. Still in production in Russia, these images allegedly show the new Niva, the Chevrolet Niva. There’s no additional information with the images, which were first run by Russian auto websites and allegedly come from the Russian Federal Institute of Industrial Property, and GM is saying nothing either.
Although, if we go back to 2013, GM managing director, Gary Tilson, said the new Niva would be launching in December 2015. That test mules were running around back in 2013, and that a concept would be presented to the world at the Moscow Motor Show in 2014. We haven’t seen the mules, but we saw the concept and these supposedly leaked images are bang on.
Sure, the images here lack the off-road tyres, light bars, recovery points and bash plates of the concept, but you’d expect them to. Look past the bolt-on bits, though, and the new Niva looks almost to be exactly as the concept suggested in 2014 (pictured).
The interview back in 2013 with Tilson suggested manual and auto transmission, that the new Niva would definitely be all-wheel drive, although front-wheel drive options will be available. The engine will be of Peugeot extraction and it was still unknown in 2013 whether a diesel engine would join the line-up. Prices are expected to jump 10-15% on the cost of the current vehicle.
UPDATE: Despite the alleged leak of patent images purportedly showing the new Lada Niva, and suggestions that the new-generation Niva would be revealed and in showrooms later in 2016, reports out of Russian media suggest we now won’t see the new Niva until 2018.
So, why the delay? Well, despite recently-released Lada models, Vesta and X-Ray performing quite well in the Motherland, new car sales in Russia have slumped. But, in our opinion, delaying such a key new model as the Niva, which has potential to sell beyond Russia, when the demand for compact SUVs is so strong could be a mistake. Doubtless Avtovaz and GM (joint partners in producing Lada vehicles) have their reasons.