The 4×4 Vision SUV concept may be the main attraction at Lada’s Moscow Auto Show stand, but the Russian automaker also used the venue to debut the flagship of the Vesta family.
It’s called the Vesta Sport and it’s a more dynamic version of Lada’s compact sedan. Inspired by the namesake concept unveiled at the 2016 Moscow Auto Show, the production car is said to benefit from Lada’s motorsport experience in the WTCC, bringing (some of) it to the street.
The Vesta Sport looks like a normal Vesta that has received some aesthetic upgrades, including a sportier front bumper integrating a spoiler that increases downforce on the front axle, wider front wheel arches and sharper door sills, as well as a more aggressive rear bumper incorporating chrome double exhaust tips, a diffuser-like element, and trim-vent side panels. To reduce lift on the rear axle, a trunk lid spoiler is also installed.
Other exterior upgrades include boomerang-shaped matte chrome inserts under the headlights, red inserts in the bumpers, 17-inch alloy wheels shod with low-profile tires, gloss black mirror caps, and red “Sport” badges on the grille and boot lid.
Nothing is said about the interior, but the photos reveal goodies such as the sports seats wrapped in materials that look like artificial leather and Alcantara, multifunction sports steering wheel with red stitching and 12 o’clock mark, aluminum pedals, and carbon fiber-like trim on the dash and door panels.
Thankfully, the Vesta Sport isn’t all show and no go. Under the hood, there’s a souped-up version of the regular Vesta’s 1.8-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder gasoline engine that delivers 145 PS (143 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 182 Nm (134 lb-ft) of torque at 3,600 rpm.
Mated to a five-speed manual transmission, the four-pot enables the Vesta Sport to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 9.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 193 km/h (120 mph). Topping it all off is a 16-mm (0.6-in) lowered suspension for improved cornering abilities. Still, at 162 mm (6.4 in), the ground clearance remains high enough (albeit not quite as high as the Vesta Cross‘) to allow the Vesta Sport to tackle road surfaces that are not as smooth as those featured in these press photos.