IN SMALL FORMS
"Oka" - a car, although small, but not primitive. And it should look "one hundred percent", the manufacturers decided.
Baby VAZ 1111 somehow quietly grew old: the angular appearance and the Spartan interior were already behind fashion. And the buyer, who in recent years has received the opportunity not only to see world news, but also to get to know them closer, is waiting for comfort from a car of any size. The increased requirements had to be met - as usual, with minimal costs. Fortunately, the engine and chassis designs turned out to be very successful - the Oka feels great in a dense city stream, and … on the roads! Even on small 12-inch wheels, she easily conquers the “directions”, which have long replaced our roads. Not without reason in the garage of one "new Russian" I saw already two "Oka" on which the owner likes to "stretch out" in the surrounding fields and meadows.
In a word, the customer (the plant of small cars - ZMA KamAZ) decided for the time being limited to modernization. The project was led by the Togliatti research and production company SpetsAvto, one of the VAZ dealerships and partner of the pilot production at the same time. The task is to modernize the car, keeping its price within two thousand dollars.
Work began with a “face”. Plastic surgery was performed by a VAZ designer Yuri Vereshchagin. The baby’s muzzle turned out to be quite modern, although the familiar motifs of Zaporozhets, FIAT-Ritmo and Renault Twingo “shine through” in it.
The impetus for the interior upgrade was given by a production problem - the only mold for the dashboard cracked. (By the way, it is now being repaired - waiting for a replacement.) A new panel was painted "from scratch".
Oleg Shapkin, also a VAZ designer, worked on the interior. The idea is to make it more friendly, to make a “round” note, to minimize the number of keys and fixtures. They even refused the temperature gauge (it is replaced by a control lamp for engine overheating), but they set the clock: in today's hectic life, where you need to be in time everywhere, they are simply necessary. Instruments moved to the center, similar to what was done on the Renault Twingo, Toyota Yaris; Provided a niche for the radio. At the edges of the panel found a place for roomy "glove box". The bagels were "puffed up" and rounded off the middle part; "Eighth" shift paddles allowed to get rid of the rear wiper control key. Heater and external lighting are now in charge of round rotary handles.
The team of specialists of Sergey Diogrik embodied everything conceived in metal and plastic. They conjured above the ceiling and seats: the new “chintz” upholstery is much more fun than the dark faux leather. In this form, and put the car at the Moscow Motor Show, where she ingratiatingly looked with round eyes-headlights at a curious audience.
It would seem, now - to the stream! But they are not going to stop the conveyor for changeover to ZMA - it is too expensive. To begin with, we decided to make one and a half hundred cars, and invest the profits from their sale in increasing the release of new items. At first, the original Togliatti SpetsAvto will make original parts. A similar scheme has already been worked out at the VAZ OPP. From here, the VAZ 2115, VAZ 2123 and new “dozens” modifications are now starting their way.
So soon the "newborn" will appear in the salons. But under what name? After all, she is no longer the Eye. The authors call the working title of the “Winnie” project, associated with a teddy bear, not entirely successful - after all, the baby is not clubfoot and not at all gluttonous.