VAZ 2108, 2109
manufacturer: VAZ (USSR)
VAZ 2108, 2109 “Samara” (1984 – now)
Samara was the first car of the completely original VAZ conception. The “divorce” with Fiat (and its elegance and quality), which started with 2105 series, continued. At the beginning (1984), Samara’s looked really well, nearly like a western car – many people nearly drooled when they saw it (only in socialist countries, of course:-). However, it was soon realized, that the design wasn’t as good as it looked at first sight – there were a lot of things which should have been done in a better way. On the whole, the car was quite solid, robust and reliable and the fuel consumption was surprisingly acceptable. The overall vehicle performance was under avarage.
The main thing which literally killed this car (which had looked really competitive in the socialist countries), was the end of the socialism in 1990. Cheap, old western cars and dislike to anything Russian stopped the already low sales within weeks and when the people were saturated with the old western wreck, it was already too late – the car become really popular only in its homeland - Russia.
2108 – hatchback (3
doors), sometimes called "Sputnik" (after that Russian
satellite - sputnik)
2109 – hatchback (5 doors)
21099 – sedan (5 doors)
engines (for all versions): 1,3l/48kW (basic version); 1,5l/53kW and 1,3l/100kW Wankel (just for Russian special services)