History of VAZ-2108

History of VAZ-2108

In Tolyatti, such delegations met infrequently - representatives of the Ministry of Automotive Industry, the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the Ministry of Trade, the State Planning Commission, the National Assembly and the AZLK. This is the chief designer of the Volga Automobile Plant, Georgy Mirzoev, who presented the concept of a new front-wheel-drive vehicle. Several options for the body (including a convertible and pickup), the original layout and, of course, appearance.

For the first time, Soviet designers created a "tracksuit" instead of "an eternally fashionable double-breasted jacket." Revolution! Breakthrough! But a representative of AZLK destroyed the powerful effect of Mirzoyev’s presentation with one phrase: “Why does the country need another car of the same class?”

1

On the way from the sketches to the production car, the appearance of the G8 remained almost unchanged. Most of the disputes caused the thickness of the door frames and the location of the gutter. With great difficulty, engineers, technologists and designers managed to hear each other and reach a compromise. In times of planned economy, this argument was quite enoughto hack a promising car: two conceptually identical projects for Soviet citizens who are not spoiled by automobile abundance is a bust. And in January 1978, when the presentation of the future G8, was held, the capital guests knew perfectly well that Meridian would stand on the conveyor - they were understood by transparent hints and condescending smirks of Muscovites. On the sidelines they whispered that the decision had already been made, and the VAZ-2141 would be the new VAZ model. But ... They say that the ambitious project “chisels”, as the VAZ-2108 will be called for the characteristic chopped forms, was personally approved by Leonid Brezhnev - the general secretary had a special weakness for the new products of the domestic automobile industry. For these forms, designers fought desperately. Reduce the width of the door by 200 mm? Never! In the long door - the charm of a sporty image. Move the exterior mirrors back? Just look at how harmoniously they fit inside the window opening! And such disputes - for each line, for each element. Then the creators of the eight-exterior exterior will condescendingly call their brainchild "flashlight", reluctantly recognizing that the body lines are too hard.In the meantime, such toughness seems to be an extra confirmation of the relevance: in 1974, the deliberately “square” Volkswagen Golf from Giugiaro came out, in 1978 it appeared completely unearthly and also “square” Fiat Ritmo from Bertone. But the future "eight" not only looked modern. She was like that. Front-wheel drive, transverse engine layout, McPherson strut front and semi-independent “rocking” behind - from the early 80s this recipe will be the most popular (and then the only one) for baking compact cars. A sort of automotive fast food, which ... We tried to spice up a good sauce. On the first prototypes, the front fenders, hood, doors and trunk lid were made of aluminum! From the "winged" alloys also cast loops, amplifiers, safety bars and other parts. Even the rims planned to use unusual - made of polypropylene and polycarbonate, and gas tanks - to "blow" out of polyethylene.

2

Above the aerodynamics of the VAZ-2108 worked carefully. For example, a tiny vyshtampovka over the back door offered by Porsche experts to "load up" the rear wheels with air flow and improve handling. At high speeds, the car really became more stable, but another problem arose: now the glass of the third door instantly contaminated ...I had to put a wiper. A little later, there will be cooperative "wings" - strips of metal, mounted on the gutters - that will solve the problem of cleanliness of the rear window. But for mass production, the lightweight “eight” was not suitable: testers found that parts from expensive metal were cracking, economists felt that the cost price of the car was unreasonably high. Such a machine weighed only 50 kg less than usual ... As a result, they decided to refuse progressive materials. And without them, there were enough questions for which the engineers could not find the answers. Of course, the VAZ people had the idea to buy a ready-made platform abroad, but Fiat refused to sell any new car, while other foreign cars simply failed the tests - basically, the elements of the front drive failed. Do everything yourself? They didn’t take a risk and made a compromise decision: the development of the car is carried out by the plant, but two foreign firms are invited - design and technology consultants. In 1979, when the first prototypes already rolled up test kilometers, they finally managed to find such partners.

3

At first, the Germans were confident that their range would be sufficient for comprehensive prototype testing. But where to get such a quantity and such a variety of bad roads? Therefore, in Togliatti and Dmitrov, 4 hard runs of 12,000 km of cobblestones were carried out, to which were added three resource runs of 80,000 km at the NAMI training ground near Moscow, as well as three mining tests (of which two were in the Caucasus and Venta in France), three summer tests in Algeria, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and an extensive winter program. Testing of the first prototypes of the VAZ-2108 took place in an atmosphere of unprecedented secrecy - cars hid from prying eyes, covered them and camouflaged. Once a camouflaged car was sent to Ufa highway. Wanting to consider the future novelty of the Soviet car industry more closely, one of the neighbors downstream decided to overtake the unusual car, but lost control and flew into a ditch. UTS (Fiat’s subsidiary) took over the technology, and Porsche took on helping designers. With the latter, the VAZ employees have already managed to work on smaller-scale projects and were extremely pleased.So the VAZ "eight" got the nickname "Russian Porsche" and "Porsche for the poor" not by chance: the engineers from Stuttgart actually worked on the first VAZ front-drive. The Germans helped to thoroughly work out the body structure, create a new family of engines and gearboxes. And how did the Porshevs teach the Soviet car to drive and pass through irregularities ... Even by modern standards, the schedule for the creation of the VAZ-2108 looks swift. In 1978, the first prototype was created, and by the end of 1984 a batch of 2,000 commercial vehicles was produced. By the standards of the sluggish Soviet car industry - unscientific fantasy. Especially considering the following fact: out of 3,500 units and parts from the classic Zhiguli, the G8 received only one - the engine piston pin. And the shortened. Thanks to the Germans, who were able to prove to the Soviet colleagues the obvious: no need to reinvent the wheel if there are ready-made proven solutions.

4

Contemporaries of the VAZ-2108: Volkswagen Golf, Ford Escort, Hyundai Pony and Peugeot 309. Against them, the Soviet hatchback is not lost at all. It should be noted that the design specialists of Porsche did not concern - its authors V. Pashko and V. Kryazhev, who were headed by M.Demidovtsev And these decisions are actively bought up throughout Europe. Here are just a few examples. Lucas - disc brakes and vacuum booster, ZF - rack and pinion steering and gearbox synchronizers, Automotiv Prodax - clutch, Wayassauto - pillars of the front suspension, Hardy Spicer - constant velocity joints ... VAZ specialists concluded an agreement on the rear suspension beam with Volkswagen Concern . Tires, door locks, radiator and carburetor, headlights and lights - the secrets of the production of these components also had to be sought abroad. Of course, many of the technology Soviet plants were not ready to accept. Bor Glassworks refused to make concave side windows - too difficult. Only a call from Moscow forced the glaziers to start work. The ignition system switches had to be imported - our industry failed to create reliable radio elements ... There were enough problems on the conveyor. The collectors broke a good third of the windshields - they lacked the skills and accuracy when installing it. Only when the workers raised their salaries, the problem disappeared. Plastic bumpers came defective: in Syzran, where the Italian company was organizing their production, could not manage to work out the process.

5

The first impact tests demanded a serious change in the body framework, which the factory has never done before! So the whole process of creating a new car was accompanied by numerous crash tests, which were carried out in Stuttgart and in Togliatti. It became a discovery for VAZ workers that the Germans were shooting speed trials with high-speed movie cameras. This is how designer Lev Vihko recalls this: “For the first time, I saw the film being rewound back after the film and it was funny to see how spilled water and oil quickly go up, the engine crankcase gets stuck, the radiator is restored and the intact car rolls back.” There were fun times! How the body behaves, if another car crashes behind, the VAZ workers did not know, and the Germans from Porsche urgently demanded the results of such a crash test. The problem was solved: a massive slab was hung on the Polygonovsky GAZ-66, dispersed and ... The Germans accepted the results of an unusual crash test. For the buyer of the new "eight" there was a mandatory program. First, replace the engine and gearbox oils. Secondly, make a "anti-corrosive" and put fenders.Third, install the engine compartment protection. Why is it here? And the fact that the unoriginal protection had a negative and very noticeable effect on passive safety, which the owners of the cars, of course, did not think about. Another safety aspect. Unlike the Zhiguli and Muscovites, the driver of the VAZ-2108 did not see the front edge of the hood, which at first even the tidy drivers "trimmed" in front of the car in ridiculous accidents. The plant even explained through the magazine Behind the wheel that, with a proper fit, the lower edge of the glass was exactly the front envelope of the car. Drivers were also not ready for the appearance of the front drive. However, the USSR has already passed this once: “My acquaintance, an experienced driver, traveled for fifteen years on Victory without incident. And when I bought a Lada, then after a few days I had a serious accident. Why produce such cars? ”- in the journal Behind the wheel such letters fell in batches when the issue of“ penny ”started. The history repeated itself when the first G8s ran along the roads of the country. It was necessary to get used to the driving habits of a front-wheel-drive car, and almost every number of the main automobile journal of the USSR told how to drive the “wrong” car. However, over time, the new product has been tasted, and the hatchback production volumes have only grown.

6

In the photo - the first, classic, version of the eight. It is called “short wing, low panel”. For those who have never owned such a machine, we will explain: in the front of the body, between the wing and the headlamp, a plastic “beak” was placed (clearly visible in the photo). In 1994, the wings and hood extended to eliminate this “spacer”. So "short wing" was replaced by "long." At the same time survived the update interior of the "eight". The front panel was replaced by a more massive, "high." The interior of such a car looked less elegant, delivered more noise (many elements of hard plastic mercilessly rumbled on irregularities), but such hatchbacks were valued higher than the “low panel” ... In-line engines of 1.1, 1 were installed on the VAZ-2108 3 and 1.5 liters. Under the terms of the contract, Porsche engineers were supposed to advise the creation of only a 1.3-liter engine, but vazovtsy with the support of German specialists managed to work on the entire family of power units. Alas, the name did not stick, and later the cars began to be called Samara - this name was originally received by export vehicles.In the people's memory, the first VAZ front-wheel drive forever remained “eights” and “nines.” In the west, the novelty of the Soviet car industry was cool. In 1987, the British magazine Motor recognized the car to be average, and the conclusion was made by journalists and completely devastating: "Samara would be a step backwards for any Western company, but this is a huge leap forward for the Lada brand." At the end of the material, readers were advised to pay attention to the 2-year-old cars of European manufacturers, since the only serious advantage of the Soviet machine is a 2-year warranty for 50 thousand miles. Soviet motorists of British magazines did not read, but as soon as the era of the market economy began, they rushed to buy used foreign cars. They were qualitatively painted, did not annoy with squeaks and in general turned out to be much more thoughtful and reliable. And even the appearance of new modifications (in 1987, the VAZ-2109 5-door hatchback was launched, the VAZ-21099 sedan was released in 1990) did not save Samara: second-hand Golfs and Escorts began to be found more often on domestic roads.

7

A seemingly elementary thing - a rear wiper - VAZ designers fought for a very long time, so the first cars went on sale without him.This caused great dissatisfaction on the part of buyers, who filled up letters and complaints to all instances, as well as newspapers and magazines. In the photo - pre-production machine. On the conveyor copies there will be other taillights, a slightly different form of the fuel tank flap, and a plastic lining will appear in front of the rear wing: during road tests, it turned out that part of the wing from the road sandblast peels off to the metal and needs protection. now: Priora and Kalina are direct descendants of the first VAZ hatchback. Moreover, many of the shortcomings of the progenitor managed to get rid of just now! For example, they got rid of the terrible drive of the gearbox and the “long” steering rack only on Kalina-2, which we tested six months ago. But this is another time and other cars.

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  • History of VAZ-2108

    History of VAZ-2108

    History of VAZ-2108

    History of VAZ-2108

    History of VAZ-2108

    History of VAZ-2108

    History of VAZ-2108

    History of VAZ-2108

    History of VAZ-2108

    History of VAZ-2108

    History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108 History of VAZ-2108