2023 Author: Erin Ralphs | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 12:36
VAZ 21213 Niva is one of the most successful and significant developments for the Volga Automobile Plant. We can say that the Niva is the most significant model in the entire history of the domestic automotive industry. Initially, this car was characterized as an off-road passenger car with 4x4 all-wheel drive. What secrets does this model hide, what does it have under the hood and how long has it existed? All this and more - further in our article.
Serial production of the VAZ "Niva" 21213 began in 1977. The most eminent design engineers of the USSR were involved in the development of this SUV. Probably, it was the cohesion of all the actions of the employees of the design bureau that made it possible to create a car characterized by high cross-country ability, light weight and unpretentious maintenance.
VAZ "Niva" 21213 isthe first car in the history of the domestic automotive industry, which was created specifically for off-road driving, traveling to the most inaccessible places, as well as for fishing and hunting trips. All this was facilitated not only by four-wheel drive and a powerful gasoline engine at that time, but also by a practical body layout - a folding rear seat made it possible to place various household goods weighing up to several hundred kilograms inside the Niva.
Domestic "Range Rover"?
What unites the domestic VAZ 2121 with the British "Rover"? At first glance, absolutely nothing. However, one has only to look at the technical part, and everything will become clear. The fact is that the Niva used a non-switchable drive on all four wheels with a transfer case and an interaxle locking differential. It was this “stuffing” that the British Range Rover had in the 70s. Thanks to such equipment, the domestic SUV could easily overcome fords, ravines and other off-road conditions. At that time, the new Soviet jeep had no analogues in terms of cross-country ability and comfort.
About SUV body
It is worth saying that initially the body of the car VAZ "Niva" 21213 was not all-metal. The first experimental modifications of the SUV in question had an open body, the roof of which was covered with a tarpaulin (such as a cross-country convertible). However, only models with a solid metal body, which we now see on the streets, entered mass production.
At first glance, the VAZ "Niva" 21213 is the Volga analogue of the Ural UAZ 469 model. Yes, in terms of driving performance and cross-country ability, they are almost like Siamese twins, but inside they are completely different. The front row of seats - with headrests, the backrest is adjustable in length and angle of inclination, the rear row folds down to increase luggage space. On request, the Niva was equipped with a washer and rear window cleaner, as well as an electric window heater. By today's standards, the equipment of the Volga SUV is almost ascetic, but in the 70s they did not even dream of such luxurious things.
One of the most significant features of this car was that the bulk of parts and assemblies were "thrown" from passenger models of the same VAZ (mainly "six"). So, on the basis of the VAZ 2106, Soviet engineers designed the engine, rear axle and gearbox.
VAZ "Niva" 21213: specifications
Initially, the car was equipped with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder carburetor engine. New modifications followed, as a result of which a 1.3-liter engine was added to the line of power plants, but it was not particularly popular with motorists.
As for the gearbox, the Niva was equipped with a four-speed manual gearbox with synchronizers in forward gear. A little later, the SUV began to be equipped with a more advanced transmission.- 5 steps. Do not forget about the transfer case, which allowed the SUV to overcome any impassability. A two-stage "razdatka" with a center differential had a forced lock. The cardan transmission consisted of cardan shafts of the rear and front axles, as well as an intermediate shaft.
The suspension also had its own technical features. The front one was independent, on transverse swing arms with hydraulic shock absorbers, springs and a stabilizer bar, which prevented the car from tipping over when cornering. The rear suspension is dependent, with coil springs, one transverse rod and four longitudinal ones. Like the front one, it was equipped with several hydraulic shock absorbers.
The first modernization of the domestic SUV
Strange as it may seem, the first modernized Niva model went into mass production only 16 years later. Moreover, practically nothing has changed in the technical part of the car - all parts and assemblies of the 1977 model! The exception was the new ICE, but more on that later.
The main changes affected only the appearance of the Niva. The new modification is distinguished by a more elongated body and slightly modified rear brake lights. By the way, the trunk lid now opened only from the passenger compartment. The bumper remained metallic, but now it is painted in light gray. In general, the exterior of the car is not distinguished by particular sophistication and steepness. However, today's off-road tuning VAZ 21213 ("Niva"), whichconsists in installing power bumpers, snorkels, new discs and other units, which allows you to significantly modernize the appearance of the car.
Inside, the changes were also minimal - the seats and the instrument panel became similar to the "Ladovsky" ones (from VAZ 2108). What do the owners say? According to the reviews, the Niva 21213 became more comfortable after modernization, but the designers still could not avoid the old shortcomings (distortions of the back and constant noise inside).
And now for the technical part. Since the beginning of 1993, the upgraded version of the Niva has been equipped with a new gasoline engine with an increased displacement - up to 1.7 liters. For the first time, a contactless ignition system was used on an SUV. The carburetor has also been changed. The braking system has been improved. The main transmission of the gearbox now has a gear ratio of 3.9. The muffler has also undergone minor changes. Now its body is not welded, as before, but rolled (like the "Lada" of the eighth model).
As practice shows, new improvements in the internal combustion engine and transmission system have significantly reduced fuel consumption on the VAZ Niva 21213 SUV. So, for a “hundred” a car spends about 13 liters in the city and up to 11 liters on the highway.
Export versions of the Niva had central fuel injection, were equipped with a non-switchable wheel drive with a center differential and a “razdatka” with a lowering row. At the request of the customer, the car could be equipped with a French Peugeot diesel engine with a displacement of 1.9 liters. But unfortunately thisthere were only isolated cases.
Despite the fact that today there are many competitors for the Niva 2121, this SUV was, is and will be the best friend of hunters, fishermen and just off-road lovers. Due to the almost complete absence of electronics, the VAZ 2121 is perhaps the only jeep that can easily conquer any section of the road (with the exception of its Ural counterparts of the UAZ brand).
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