Published on: Jan 19, 2016 @ 16:55 Originally Published in: 2015 (old website) (C) Jay Auger - website owner & author Notice: Any form of duplication methods (including but not limited to copy/paste of text and screen capture) of the website's content is strictly forbidden.
The Moskvich 2141 (also known under the “Aleko” or “Moskvitch” monikers) is a mid-size car often referred to as being a “communist replica” of the Simca 1307 / Chrysler 150 model. First announced in 1985 and later produced from 1986 to 1997, the 2141 was meant to be Russia’s first front-wheel drive offering. It is suspected that the quite unique “KR” variant was a project started to make use of the immense popularity of Group B in the World Rally Championship (WRC) to help commercialise the new model and in turn help the Russian automotive industry.
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The standard production Aleko 2141 model is a front-wheel drive, front engine, 5-door hatchback. Although seemingly conventional, this car was quite innovative both in aesthetics and its technical aspects as it left behind many of the old design traditions in Russia. However, turning such a car into something worthy of the top echelons of rallying sure would seem like a tough proposition. The loose Group B regulations brought a lot of technical freedoms, not to mention the possibility of competing in lower engine displacement sub-classes – all of which should greatly help the process along.
The 2141-KR rally car project is said to have begun early in 1986 after its creators got design ideas from the Lada Samara EVA (Lada Turbo) Group B prototype at VFTS (Vilniusskaja Fabrika Transportnyh Sredstv), which was founded and then managed by famous Lithuanian rally driver Stasys Brundza. The 2141-KR would reuse some of the same concepts such as a spaceframe (tubular) chassis construction, a mid-engine / rear-wheel drive layout, and a “silhouette” bodywork implementing only the headlights, tail lights, windshield, and front doors of the base model – effectively turning the car into a diminutive coupé.
Although somewhat basic in design compared to the more famous Group B silhouette supercars, the 2141-KR did nonetheless include all of the necessities for rally duty such as multiple pick-up points for the suspension. Both front and rear sections would open in a “clamshell” fashion to allow easier access to mechanical components.
Power for the rally car came with the UZAM-412 / 331.10 engine from the base 2141 model. Initially a 1478 cc offering, the normally aspirated engine was improved for a motorsport application, plus being bored / stroked out to 1995 cc to maximise the B/11 engine class. The output is said to have been around 175 BHP, which was good for a claimed top speed of 200 kph / 124 mph – more than enough for most rally applications.
The Aleko 2141-KR is reported to have been a joint effort which included the works of “UKER” experimental design engineers Dapa, Ivanov, Korjukalov, Loginov, Manžuli, Michechkin, and Potapov. The much modified bodywork made out of fibreglass and thermoplastics is coined to designer Harutjunjan.
It was very rare to find projects of this magnitude in the old communist block where resources were scarce and expensive to get. As such, VFTS’ Stasys Brundza is credited to having provided outside support to the project such as helping to source “free of charge” experimental materials and products for testing purposes from his international supplier contacts. This would greatly help reduce the overall development cost of the project.
News of the infamous FISA Group B ban hit not long after the 2141-KR’s project debut in 1986. However, the multiple Group S replacement propositions pushed forward by the BPICA members would be a ray of hope up until the end of 1987, hence work on the project continued, but ultimately the category would sadly remain stillborn.
After the project completion in 1988, the last resort for the 2141-KR was that the car might be accepted for Group A/5 (experimental / prototype class) in the country’s national events. For this the 2141-KR seemed like a perfect fit since the rules mandated only that the car was of Russian origin with an engine displacement of less than 2 litres.
However this required government approval, which the 2141-KR ultimately did not get, thus cancelling further development and competition. Rumour goes that the “Western” source for many of the car’s components greatly displeased the Russian officials. It is also quite important to note that the waning communist block of the late 1980’s was in economic strife. The latter most likely killed the project for good.
Overall, the 2141-KR is said to have been designed expressly as a budget yet advanced rally car following the “recipe for success” of the Group B supercars in hopes to make it more competitive, attractive and attainable in the economic context of the communist block. In that aspect it would be safe to declare mission accomplished for the small and dedicated team of engineers. Alongside the Lada Samara EVA / S-Proto, the 2141-KR is arguably the best effort of the “East” at producing something worthy of Group B. The car now sits in the “Autoreview” museum in Moscow.
RALLY CAR SPECIFICATIONS
|Group / Class||B/11 – A/5||PROTOTYPE|
|Conception / Production||1986~1988||# built: 1|
|Type||UZAM-412, I-4, OHC 8v, gas||mid-mounted, longitudinal|
|Displacement||1995 cc||WRC = 1995 cc|
|Output power – torque||175 HP @ – rpm||– lb-ft @ – rpm|
|Top Speed||200 kph / 124 mph (estimated)|
|Materials||block: aluminium||head: aluminium|
||boost: not applicable|
|Type||rear-wheel drive||5-speed manual gearbox (presumed)|
|Type||Full spaceframe with integrated roll cage, fibreglass and thermoplastics body panels, polycarbonate screens side and rear, front and rear opening clamshells.|
|Front suspension||McPherson-type struts|
|Rear suspension||Multi-link, telescopic struts, coil springs|
|Steering system||N/A||ratio: N/A|
|length: 3840 mm / 151.2 in||width: 1690 mm / 66.5 in||height: 1360 mm / 53.5 in|
|wheelbase: N/A||front track: 1500 mm / 59 in||rear track: 1500 mm / 59 in|
|Rims – tires||
|Dry/Unladen Weight||890 kg (1960 lb)|
|Weight/power||5.1 kg/HP (11.2 lb/HP)|
***MISSING – do you know of one?***
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