Unconfirmed reports name new saloon prototype as Lada Vesta, which will enter production next year and will become the sister car to a new Datsun saloon

This compact four-door saloon is thought to be Lada's all-new budget Vesta model, which will replace the current Priora in the firm's range when production begins next year.

The car has been styled under the guidance of British designer Steve Mattin, who was previously head of design at Volvo

Lada is now partially owned by Renault-Nissan, which means the Vesta is based on the same new low-cost platform derived from the current Micra, as is the recently revealed 3.8m-long Datsun Go budget hatchback. The Go's base price in India is around £3200, although its Lada sister car is likely to be more expensive.

Specialist automotive website Just Auto released an interview with new Lada boss Bo Andersson recently, in which he said he would "restore pride" to the Russian car maker. Even though it makes 600,000 cars per year, the AutoVAZ operation has been losing money as the Russian car market slides.

Andersson says he wants the Lada brand to get back to having 20 per cent of the new car market "in the medium term". Although Russian car buyers are said to be instinctively patriotic, recent Lada models have fallen too far behind the standards of Western European cars. 

It's thought that the AutoVAZ Togliatti plant will also build the Datsun Go for markets in in Eastern Europe. Nissan has revived the Datsun brand primarily for developing markets such as India and China, where a low retail price has the potential to unlock sales to people who cannot afford today's low-cost superminis and, in China, do not trust domestically produced super-budget models. 

Additional reporting by Hilton Holloway.

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3

25 March 2014
What, the same Steve Mattin who designed the last S Class? Handy, as the next A Class will probably share metal with a Renault/Nissan/Lada. And then Merc's humiliation will be complete.

25 March 2014
Regardless of who designed it: this looks neat and unpretentious (if anonymous). Unlike the ill-proportioned A-Class and pretentious CLA. In fact with different detailing it could almost be a baby Jag!

26 March 2014
And here is Lada Vesta unvieled wroom.ru/en/news/1934

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