LADA SAMARA EVA
Originally code-named the “Lada Turbo”, this mid-engine rear wheel drive prototype was built to loosely resemble the VAZ-2108 “Sputnik” (Samara) model, with high hopes to compete in the Group B international rally scene. While it bears the Lada name, this car was privately built entirely from scratch by a group of dedicated people in a recluse section of a truck and bus factory in Tallinn Estonia circa 1984. The EVA features full spaceframe construction draped with a “silhouette” body. The engine, based on the “Zhiguli” 2106 unit, was completely re-engineered to DOHC and turbocharger specifications, and could produce a healthy 300 HP.
The exterior featured front and rear opening clamshells made out of lightweight composites. Striking design features were the use of air extractors molded in all four fenders of the car, and the use of twin spoilers, all to help with high speed aerodynamics.
This project was at a high engineering level very uncommon for a private endeavor in the Soviet communist block. As it was the norm in Russia, official funding was very difficult to obtain especially for motorsport applications, but the private project was so well made that they managed to get government approval. Funds were released for the production of the 200 homologation units and for a racing program within the “Lada Rally” team.
30 units are rumored to have been built, including some basic homologation cars that featured a 160 HP naturally aspirated engine to lower costs. However, shortly after the official project approval in 1986, the FISA cancelled Group B, thus aborting production.
The Lada EVA might have been very successful on the national level if it had the opportunity to compete. However, on the international scene, it is highly doubtful that it could have competed against the fierce four wheel drive opposition. Yet, besides maybe the Moskvich-Aleko 2141KR, the Lada EVA was the best effort seen in the communist block to produce something worthy of Group B.
In 1985, the FISA (former ruling committee of the FIA) announced a possible replacement class to Group B that was referred to as “Group S”. The new regulations would require only 10 cars for homologation and was essentially a “prototype” class for rallying. The class was originally scheduled to make its debut on January 1st 1988, then as a heavily revised replacement to Group B for 1987, but both were ultimately cancelled. To learn much more about the history of Group S, please CLICK HERE!
Lada, as with other manufacturers who saw their WRC aspirations go down the drain with the cancellation of Group B, decided to recycle their effort into the planned Group S replacement formula. As such, since production costs would now be substantially lower, an even more evolved version of the EVA was considered. Referred to as the “S-Proto”, it originally featured 50 more horsepower and some revisions. Only one prototype is known to have been built. However, Group S ultimately suffered the same fate as Group B and the project was cancelled.
If Lada’s bid in Group S would have been successful, which was doubtful since the car was only rear wheel drive, future plans to improve the car would have included the use of the Porsche 959’s engine and drivetrain (if you believe the rumors, that is).
|Conception / Production||1984~86||# built:
|Type||I-4, DOHC 16v, gas||mid mounted, longitudinal|
|Displacement||1860 cc||WRC = 2604 cc|
|Output power – torque||
||boost: 8~12 psi|
|Type||rear wheel drive||N/A|
|Type||full spaceframe with roll cage, composite panels, windows, and clamshells|
|Steering system||N/A||ratio: N/A|
|length: N/A||width: N/A||height: N/A|
|wheelbase: N/A||front track: N/A||rear track: N/A|
|Rims – tires||
|Dry/Unladen Weight||960 kg (2115 lb) *estimated|
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