How glad I am that she survived! But it once seemed that the five-door Lada 4 × 4 is doomed to a small-scale production and disappearance after the closure of the pilot production of AVTOVAZ, where it was assembled. At one time, the director of the OPP, Sergei Perevezentsev, explained to me the reason: they say, the long-car did not fit into the bends of the conventional three-door Niva. That’s why the verdict: “limousine” technology with a 500 mm insert in the center of the body is doomed to run no more than 10 thousand cars a year. In 2015, the OPP was closed. But this is not the end of the 22-year history of the five-door Lada 4 × 4. This year it was reborn in two modifications – the usual and Urban. Here they are, the body with characteristic humpbacks on the roof, creep alternately with the Priora. And where – on the main conveyor of AVTOVAZ!
I remember in the early 90’s everything was clear and clear: the main conveyor consisted of three lines, the first was designed for front-wheel drive models, the second – for the “classic” VAZ-2105 and 2107, the third – under the “shah”. In a separate, so-called 62-m building, the UPC assembled a three-door Niva with a short base, a five-door modification and could not get in because of the large dimensions. Another building was allocated to the Oka VAZ-1111. Then the usual way of life changed: VAZ-2106 changed “ten”, and went-went. Since then, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. In 2004, they built a new assembly line for Kalina. The first line is given to the cars of the alliance Renault-Nissan. From it come off models on the platform B0. There are so many of them that more space was needed – the second line of the main conveyor was dismantled and the sites for containers with components, additional services, the assembly area of the modules were placed in its place.
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At the boot lid – LADA in large letters.
The third line in 2014 was modernized to a universal one with an eye to the issue of Vesta. But the new model suddenly changed Tolyatti registration to Izhevsk, and now they are assembling Prioru and long-legged Lada 4 × 4. It was not easy to set up the production of cars from different families in one place – on the same posts, it is necessary to perform operations that are very different from one another, because the front-wheel-drive car and all-wheel drive on the “classic” units are not the same. Technical difficulties were overcome. And the workers’ hands? The use of their skills and experience found here former employees of the OPP.
Has the Lada 4 × 4 become better? Definitely. In the transition from small-scale production to mass production, this is inevitable. The current pace of assembly, 50-60 cars per day, requires streamlined technological processes. Although not the first freshness of the design, but went through all the algorithms for launching a new model on the main conveyor.
A new color scheme is akin to the above-water part of the iceberg, as we see it first of all. But the best corrosion resistance can be estimated much later. The five-door Urban is painted in one shop with Priora. From now on, the body is applied to the cataphoresis primer – the immersion method.
The conveyor belt, on which the chassis and engine meet with the body, is the most responsible, especially when cars of different families intersect.
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Another important detail: improved water resistance of the body. Meticulously inspect the vehicle that has just come off the assembly line. It differs from those that were collected earlier in the OPP on the so-called bypass technologies. Body clearances are even, plastic bumpers and the radiator grille fit tightly. The hump on the roof remained, but the 500 mm insert was welded neatly. Another notable place – the corners of the front doors. The three-door machine has rounded edges at the bottom of the door, and the five-door car has corners. They are obtained by superimposing the frame of the standard door with a welded triangle, the original one – only the outer panel. Looked closely – and here welding seams are neat.
I remember, under the weight of the rear speakers at the five-door, the plastic supports of the luggage compartment bend. Now there are new supports, more solid. And in general, thermoformed interior details have already been replaced or in the near future will be replaced by cast. For example, they will remove the molded upholstery of the fifth door stuffed with edge.
Still there was a trouble with refueling because of the clamped tubes of drainage of a gasoline tank. They got rid of the defect – specially for the installation of a flat 65-liter tank, the installation of its pipes, throat and raised floor, the lifting zone of the car was organized on the conveyor.