Russian carmaker LADA has taken the wraps off the new Vesta concept race car that it hopes to debut in next year’s FIA World Touring Car Championship.
The car will replace the Granta WTCC, which has completed two full seasons in the championship. The team will also have a new title sponsor and livery, with Lukoil set to leave and be replaced by the state-owned Rosneft and JSC AVTOVAZ groups on a three-year deal.
LADA factory drivers Rob Huff and James Thompson were on hand to launch the concept car at the Moscow International Motor Show, which the outfit hopes to take into the 2015 season to compete for Manufacturer honours against Honda’s Civic and Citroën’s C-Elysée WTCC.
The British duo both have contracts to remain with the team next year, but the future of youngster teammate Mikhail Kozlovskiy is less certain, as the 24-year-old is backed by the soon-to-depart Lukoil group.
The Vesta features a longer wheelbase and more refined aerodynamics compared with the current Granta WTCC model, which has struggled in the top speed stakes despite being blessed with an ORECA-built 1.6-litre turbo engine. Its roadgoing counterpart replaces the outgoing Priora model in LADA’s medium-sized sedan category market.
“I am a great supporter of our racing activities. Today AVTOVAZ focuses on competition on the world market and it focuses on teamwork, and racing is all about competition and teamwork. If we are successful in WTCC, it will help us to sell road cars to the public!” LADA president Bo Andersson said.
Images via LADA