Russia’s Cheap Sedan Became Sporty, sort of

It was in 2016 that I saw the Lada Vesta Sport Concept. It was unveiled at the MIMS show (MIMS Automechanika Moscow). Lada promised us we will see the production version of the car and now, here it is. You are looking at the Lada Vesta Sport - a cheap sedan smartly (and simply) improved to justify the word Sport in its name. Based on top of the compact, cheap sedan that is really popular in Russia, the Vesta Sport features a number of improvements differentiating it from the lesser, more civilized versions of the car.

To paint you the right picture about the Vesta, just imagine it as a “Nissan Versa Sedan of Russia.” In short, a really cheap compact sedan for A to B. The Vesta Sport shouldn’t be only for A to B, though. Here’s why.

Exterior

2019 Lada Vesta Sport Exterior
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First, be advised that all the cars specifically tailored for Russia usually have greater ground clearance than in the western countries. Hint - bad roads.

The Lada Vesta is one of those cars and even this one - the sporty Lada Vesta Sport - has a ground clearance greater than 16 centimeters

. That is a lot, but Lada actually did a thorough job in trying to improve the overall appearance of the Vesta.

Although they were quite coy on the specification, I can see a full-on new body kit.

It includes:

  • New front bumper with more prominent spoiler
  • Wider front fenders
  • Muscled up rear bumper with diffuser and dual exhaust tips
  • New side details
  • Rear spoiler

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that Lada outsourced the production and development of the body kit to some aftermarket tuner. Installing matte chrome features at the front, red inserts all over, and 17-inch wheels complemented the body-kit changes and definitely upscaled the exterior look of the car.

Interior

2019 Lada Vesta Sport Interior
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Lada did not limit the changes to the exterior. Peeking into this one will reveal numerous red details, seats covered in leather (probably synthetic), a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, and aluminum pedals.

Cosmetics like this may not sound like much, but having a Lada like this shows that the company had some sort of an epiphany.

Actually, Renault design boss Laurens Van Den Acker implied that Lada aims to upscale. This created some serious problems for Renault in Russia as it now needs to upscale as well. Renault is actually trying to do it with the Arkana Coupe Crossover and some other vehicles which are already in the pipeline.

On the other hand, Lada is looking to revolutionize within the SUC stardom as well. At the same show where the company unveiled the Vesta Sport, Lada showcased a quite impressive 4x4 Vision SUV concept. All of these reasons enabled Lada to craft an interior such as this for their cheap compact saloon.

Drivetrain

2019 Lada Vesta Sport Exterior
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Expectedly, Lada actually worked on the NA 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine. In this case, the gas-powered engine develops 145 horsepower and 134 pound-feet of torque.

Enough for 0-62 mph in 9.3 seconds and for a top speed of 120 mph.

The suspension received some mods too. I am thinking new stiffer coilovers which, with nice, bigger tires and lower center of gravity, considerably improved the cornering and driving characteristics of the Vesta Sport.

Conclusion

2019 Lada Vesta Sport Exterior
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The Lada Vesta Sport is a rather cool car. I must say. It is like a cheap try on performance. After all, its performance must be on par with that of early GTIs, and that is actually huge. Only now, everything is trickled with modern safety standards and modern equipment. Heck, I’d like to take it for a spin.

What do you think?
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