Mike Stevens | Aug 27, 2014

The legendary Lada Niva now has a proper successor, revealed today in the form of the compact new Chevrolet Niva - a thinly-veiled ‘concept’ bound for this week’s Moscow Motor Show.

Replacing the Chevy Niva that first appeared as part of the GM-AutoVAZ joint venture in 1998, this concept represents the first truly all-new inheritor of the Niva name. (Of course, the first generation is also still going...)

But, while the new Niva calls on a Russian heritage, there’s a more global story to its development - including an Australian angle.

Yes, this Niva was designed in China under Holden artist Ondrej Koromhaz, and built here at the company’s world-class fabrication centre in Melbourne - the same facility that designed and built a special localised version of the 2011 Colorado concept.

In concept form, the Niva is powered by a Peugeot-supplied 100kW 1.8 litre four-cylinder engine, mated to a five-speed manual.

Permanent all-wheel-drive is also featured, with a lockable centre differential and a transfer case with a two-stage reduction gear.

Production details for the new Niva are still to be revealed, although GM and Russian partner AvtoVAZ have at least confirmed that a showroom debut is planned.

Whether that will include Australia is unclear however, with Holden already selling the compact - if less capable - Trax SUV here.

GM says the new Niva will enter production late next year, ahead of an early 2016 debut.

Watch for more details to come at the Moscow Motor Show.

MORE: Compact SUVs | 4WDs | Concepts


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