Our “Crimea”: the first test drive of the Russian roadster

Take Lada Kalina , apply a little wit and skillful hands, and get … Porsche Boxster . No, it is not, of course, but this is the first association when you are driving the “Crimea”. And the layout is the same – the Russian roadster received a rear-wheel drive and the central location of the engine.

You sit very low, so much so that you see practically only the skin of the doors and the sky. But, even in this, experimental, copy there is an adjustment of the rudder in height, so that it’s very convenient to get a job on the driver’s place. Do not deprive the prototype and other comfort points – there is also air conditioning, and the music was not completely dragged from the “Kalina”, leaving only the head unit, the audio system is built on the components of Morel.

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And now, finally, having adjusted everything for myself, I’m starting to move. If, when examining the car, it is immediately clear that this is a prototype, then on the move, when the look does not focus on any little things, it’s hard to believe that this is the first development, and not a brand new sports car from some world auto giant. When after 5 minutes at the wheel is already so comfortable, as if you drive this car all your life – this is a very good indicator. The only thing that spoils the feeling is the heat. The street is good for 30, and because of the design features all the heat from the motor goes straight to the back of the driver and passenger. But this issue will be fixed – the development team plans to install a thermal screen in the near future.

Of course, there are minor shortcomings. Here, the rubber band of the sealer has come out, suddenly the door does not want to close – the details from the “Kalina” were brought along by her “sores”. But, if AvtoVAZ years issue problematic parts and put them on production machines, then this number will not work. Just to debug all the jambs, and the car passes a lot of testing – even now, over all kinds of roads with different coverings, it is planned to pass more than 5,000 kilometers. And, there is only absolute pleasure from driving. The sun shines in the face, to go along the sea along serpentine by car without a roof – this is already unforgettable. And if it is also a mid-engine rear-wheel drive roadster, then the sensations go off scale.

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By the way, in itself, the roof, of course, is available. Three-piece, covered with fabric and insulated. But while the manual folding mechanism, collect the roof and “pack” in the space behind the seats have to do it yourself. In the future, they want to make the roof soft, with an automatic drive and develop a hardtop for the winter.

Many people are interested in the question of how the car was registered. So, in the traffic police, he is not registered yet. Now the car passes a series of road tests at the State Research Center of FSUE NAMI, the state number is assigned to a research institute. NAMI, within its authority, has the right to conduct tests on appropriate methods and regulations, which now happens with the roadster “Crimea”. The first prototype, which we now see, receive full-fledged documents and is not planned, they want to leave it as a museum copy. But the second one, which will be done taking into account all the shortcomings identified during the tests, will already receive registration documents. It is planned to radically change the bearing structure, cooling system and many other technical solutions.

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“Crimea” is built on a bearing system specially designed for it, combining the elements of a tubular and box-like frame. In the future, it is planned to switch completely to a box-type frame. Most of the units – motor, “box”, suspension, brakes, and any small things like locks and gadgets – from Lada Kalina2. But, paradoxically, with AvtoVAZ product this car has very little in common. If you skip skepticism about AvtoVAZ products, the available units are a huge plus in terms of operation and maintainability, as in the event of a breakdown, parts can be bought at the nearest auto shop.

How on these units to make a front-wheel drive civil car rear-wheel mid-engine roadster? The rear part with the engine compartment is actually a 180-degree front end from Lada Kalina.

Now as a power plant used stock motor VAZ 21127, with a capacity of 106 horsepower. Transmission is also stock. Of course, there are also design changes, among them the modified springs and shock absorbers. Basically this is due to the fact that the calculated mass of Kalina is much higher. In this case it is 800 kilograms, and although the first prototype weighs a little more, it is still much lighter than Kalina.

To tell you the truth, with this weight, all the Kalinovsky units work better without any modifications: the brakes do not “get tired”, and the motor is no exception – the car is very fast, the thrust is even – you do not even have to turn on the hill Reduced gear. Acceleration from a place to 100 km / h takes less than 9 seconds. Despite the fact that tests take place in quite difficult conditions for any car – heat and active driving on mountain serpentines, “Crimea” copes with the Crimean roads perfectly well.

Nevertheless, in the future, in addition to their own designs, it is planned to finalize the VAZ units. In any case, even in the complete set with the base motor, the gearbox rows will be changed. In addition, there are plans for several variants of supercharged motors – the German drive compressor is considered, and the turbochargers of the domestic firm Turbotekhnika. By the way, with all the improvements, preference is given to Russian manufacturers. Even wheel rims are developed in Russia specifically for this machine.

At the moment, work is underway to raise the power to 140 horsepower, the engine instead of the 21127 engine is taken by the engine 21126 (Lada Priora), which will receive a turbine. In this case, the intake and exhaust will be made, the settings will be changed, and up to 140-149 horsepower will be released without making any changes to the engine design and without losing the resource. While the car passes road tests, this is exactly what the team of engineers in Moscow is doing.

Further it is planned to collect more “serious” cars with a capacity of up to 200, and possibly even more horsepower based on the 1.8-liter AvtoVAZ engine, which in this case will already receive serious improvements.

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There are also plans to introduce a seven-step AKP domestic development. At one time, such a transmission was made for AvtoVAZ models, it is certified and tested for Lada Kalina, having traveled more than 200 thousand kilometers. This is an automatic “box” with the main planetary gear, which proved to be lighter than the traditional hydraulics and delivered from power losses. Since the last change of management at AvtoVAZ, the company’s policy has changed, and the progressive unit has remained out of work. But, it may well be suitable for a new roadster – negotiations with developers are already under way.

The history of “Crimea” is absolutely unique – originally there was only talk about simple student developments designed to rally the university team from the Bauman Moscow State Technical University. There was no talk of any PR, even the name “Crimea” was given to the prototype long before the well-known events. “After all the political events, we wanted to even change the name,” the project manager, Dmitry Onischenko, admits. That there was no association with politics. And then we decided that just the same, we should not pay attention to politics at all, and do not trick the name. The project suddenly attracted a lot of attention, and from the garage student’s craft became a car seriously preparing for a full certification and production. Let, of course, and small-scale. While the developers do not call any deadlines – they do not want to “jinx”, as much depends on financing, including. In any case, there are still a lot of work.