With the Russian market growing into one of the largest in the world, automakers from around the world descended this past weekend on the Moscow Motor Show in pursuit of a slice of that pie. But you can bet that Lada, one of Russia's biggest domestic players, wasn't going to miss out on the opportunity to roll out its latest, and that's just what it did.
In Moscow this year, Lada revealed a slew of new show cars. First up was the Xray 2, a five-door crossover/hatchback that follows the three-door Xray concept from 2012 in showcasing the new styling direction being led by former Mercedes and Volvo designer Steve Mattin, who assumed his role as Lada's chief designer in 2011. Russian buyers can expect some manner of production version to follow.
The styling of the Xray is closely mirrored by that of the Vesta, a new sedan expected to enter production as the replacement for the Lada Granta, which itself was based on the long-serving Kalina. Rather than repurposing the existing platform, though, the Vesta borrows heavily from the company's tie-in with the Renault-Nissan Alliance and will enter production in Izhevsk a year from now. The design in particular represents a big step forward, with a distinctive (if unsubtle) front end and a tail with definite Maserati influences, scalloped flanks and an overall shape that does not took too shabby for a budget sedan developed in and for an emerging market.
While Lada was at it, it also rolled out a new racing version of the Vesta to compete in the World Touring Car Championship to replace the Granta WTCC that has failed to emerge from the back of the field over the past three seasons. Here's hoping that the Vesta WTCC, co-developed with French racing outfit Oreca and set to enter competition next season, will bring better luck. Scope out all three in the video below.