Lada? Racing? We've got to be kidding, right? Only we're not. While the Russian automaker may not have the motorsport pedigree of, say, Ferrari or Porsche, there's reason enough to believe it's getting serious.

One reason is its new corporate cousins at the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which owns part of Lada's parent company AvtoVaz and which never fails to get each of its divisions – from Renault in Formula One to Nissan in GT racing to Dacia in the Andros Trophy – on the track. Another is its history, however limited it may be, of competition in the World Touring Car Championship. Lada was contesting the WTCC just a couple of years ago, and in announcing the arrival of the new Granta, confirmed that it would be making a comeback. And this is the car with which it'll do it.

Called the Granta Sport, this adaptable racer will form the basis for a number of racing categories. One is the WTCC, which Lada will contest this year at two rounds (Hungary and Portugal) with an eye towards expanding to a full-season challenge in 2013. Another is the Granta Cup, a one-make racing series which Lada will field in Russia. Finally, an S2000-compliant version is reportedly in the works that would let privateer teams enter the Granta Sport in any of a number of racing series around the world.

Aside from the 1995 Chrysler Sebring coupe calling to ask for its fake plastic grille back, few details are available as to the Granta Sport's technical specifications, but we have the distinct feeling that Renaultsport has had a hand in its development. One way or another, you can scope out the high-res images in the gallery for a closer look.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      Kris
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Lada? Racing? We've got to be kidding, right?" Wow, AB! Lada may not have the motorsport pedigree of, say, Ferrari or Porsche, but it have much more motorsport heritage than most of the top manufacturers today. Lada is racing since the moment it was created with factory or/and private cars in numerous rally and hillclimb events through Europe. Most of the racing drivers I know started their careers with Lada and many are still driving Lada's. Today it's the cheapest and fastest for the money way to get into racing. It's like Eastern European's HachiRoku (AE86).
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kris
        So it started in 1966. Ok? A lot of other manufacturers started racing WELL before that. Again, the Big 3 comes to mind. Audi (as Auto Union)? Mercedes-Benz? Jaguar? Porsche? Also, it's general knowledge that whenever anyone thinks of racing heritage, their first thought isn't going to be Lada. It's also not going to be their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th thought considering there are other manufacturers out there with MUCH more racing heritage than Lada.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kris
        I paid attention to those opening credits, and it says that it was raced back in the 1970s. You clearly said that Lada has much more motorsport heritage than most of the top manufacturers today. The Big 3 comes to mind when I think of manufacturers that have been racing longer than that. By the way, just because it's popular with a lot of Eastern Europeans and that a lot of ERC's drivers started out driving Ladas, it doesn't mean that it gives Lada a much larger recing heritage. Does it really matter if I've ever seen a Lada? No. Because whenever ANYBODY thinks of motorsport heritage, you don't think of Lada (well except for you).
          Kris
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          You know АвтоВАЗ was founded in 1966 right? And they started racing right away. "Does it really matter if I've ever seen a Lada? No. Because whenever ANYBODY thinks of motorsport heritage, you don't think of Lada (well except for you)." Do you see how you immediately assumed that only what you know of is what ANYBODY thinks and knows. I asked you if you have ever seen one so I can find if you actually know anything about Lada, or you were just talking from your point of view in US assuming this is the opinion on everybody. And you proved just what I was thought. You seem to forget about all ex communist Eastern European countries out there. I'll agree that Lada is not the first make to come to mind (even to my mind) when you think about motorsport, but it sure don't deserves the opening phrase "Lada? Racing? We've got to be kidding, right?" Right?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      RustyShackelford
      • 3 Years Ago
      A fast Lada??? Oh, yes. Enjoy: http://youtu.be/u7h3gw7ZYfg
      Alex
      • 3 Years Ago
      Needs moar camber.
      gary
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe it's just the color scheme, but in profile it looks to me like a weird mix of Lancer Evolution III and IV.
      Dennis Baskov
      • 3 Years Ago
      Probably the most attractive Lada I have ever seen. It would be nicer if the trunk was a bit lower. And I thought Lancer's trunk was too high...
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