ВАЗ-2106 “Жигули”

VAZ-2106 “Zhiguli” is a Soviet and Russian rear-wheel drive small class III group car with a sedan body, which is a modernization of the VAZ-2103 and was produced by the Volzhsky Automobile Plant from 1976 to 2001. In 1998, production was partially transferred to the Roslada plant in Syzran (the last VAZ-2106 produced in Togliatti was assembled on December 28, 2001), in 2001 – to Anto-Rus in Kherson (Ukraine), and in 2002 – to IzhAvto plant in Izhevsk, where it continued until the model was removed from the assembly line in 2006. One of the most popular and popular cars in the history of the USSR, Russia and the CIS – in total over 4.3 million units were produced and assembled at various factories.

The development of the VAZ-2106 began by specialists from the Volzhsky Automobile Plant Style Center in 1974 as “project 21031” (similar to the VAZ-21011, which had just been put into production). The requirements of the technical specifications for updating the model 2103 boiled down to reducing the use of expensive chrome-plated and metallized parts, as well as upgrading lighting equipment to the latest European standards at a minimum cost. The exterior of the car, designed in the spirit of the times using black plastics, was created by V. Antipin, the original taillights were created by V. Stepanov. Changes were made to the front cladding (“glasses” of the headlights became independent parts, the grille itself was made of plastic and on early cars was additionally covered with chrome), the rear trunk panel (a large recessed rectangular niche appeared for the license plate), and the bumpers (reduced in size “fangs” of steel all-plastic, as well as the corners of the bumpers, which became independent parts), wheel caps, side direction indicators (larger rectangular, on early cars there were also red reflectors on the rear wings (on some export cars they were made as side lights), identical in shape and symmetrical by repeater location on the body), ventilation grilles, factory logo (inscribed in a black rectangle; previously, a rectangular emblem was already used on the VAZ-21011, but was larger and with a red background).

…This was with the modernization of the “six”, the “2106” car. We were required to update and rejuvenate its appearance. They started with considerable embarrassment, lest they spoil the most prestigious Italian development, of which the Fiat people themselves were sincerely proud. A small detail is the taillights. Vladimir Erastovich Stepanov was in charge of them. Lovingly, carefully, and they turned out, which was recognized by the Italians.

There were a number of other interesting proposals. But here the production workers put a barrier to the designers: thank you, guys, you’ve done your job: the buttons have been changed, the strap has been shortened, but there’s no need to go deeper, otherwise reworking the technology will cost the plant too much.

Innovations in the interior affected the upholstery (in particular, the bottom of the door trim and the steering wheel button received decorative lettering with the factory emblem in the center) and door armrests (since 1977, before that armrests from the VAZ-2103 were installed); the seats received an all-velor top, the front ones had height-adjustable headrests (in the cheaper version (option 45), it was possible to install a set of seats from the VAZ-2103, but also supplemented with headrests in the front). The controls were supplemented with an emergency alarm, a steering column windshield washer switch and a rheostat for the instrument panel lighting. A separate warning lamp for low brake fluid level appeared on the console (on the VAZ-2103 it is combined with a parking brake indicator (flashing indicates a applied brake, constant light indicates a low fluid level in the reservoir). Improved configurations were equipped with a radio, heated rear window and a red fog lamp, attached under the rear bumper on the left or right (on export right-hand drive copies).

In the rear lights of the VAZ-2106, for the first time for the Soviet automobile industry, sections of direction indicators, side lights, brake lights, reversing lights and reflectors were combined in a single body. V. Antipin also noted that the case when both rear lights on a passenger car were structurally combined with license plate lighting was, in his memory, the only one in world practice and deserved a separate patent.

A version of the 2103 engine was prepared for the car, in which, following the model of the 21011 modification, the cylinder diameter was increased from 76 to 79 mm, which made it possible to achieve a working volume of 1.57 liters. The new long-stroke engine showed 12% more torque compared to the base one (and at significantly lower speeds), but its maximum power (“gross”) according to the standards in force at that time was only 79 HP. With. instead of the calculated 80 due to the limited characteristics of the intake system, which for the sake of unification with other engines of the family was left unchanged. However, the transmission was still adapted to the new engine, first creating a special version of the gearbox, characterized by reduced gear ratios in the first three stages, and subsequently equipping some cars with a gearbox with a final drive gear ratio reduced to 3.9. The clutch has also undergone modifications: the force of the diaphragm spring has been increased and the area of the friction linings has been increased. The new power unit, with minimal changes, was used for the VAZ-2121 Niva model, which was being prepared for production at that time (other notable borrowings of the Niva from the VAZ-2106 were the light signaling kit (except for the headlights) and the front seat headrests).

Like the VAZ-2103, the new product was planned to be accompanied by two less powerful modifications; The body has traditionally been provided with the possibility of being designed with right-hand drive. As in the case of the VAZ-21011, for marketing reasons, the appearance of a modernized version of the 2103 model did not mean the immediate discontinuation of its predecessor (moreover, in 1982-1984, VAZ simultaneously produced three “luxury” cars: 2103, 2106 and 2107) . In light of these circumstances, the original designation of the updated car as 21031, despite its undeniable logic, looked unpromising for future use and was replaced by 2106. Positions 21032, 21033, 21035 and 21036 were already used, the five remaining five-digit numbers were obviously not enough to designate the six new ones combinations of three engines and two left- and right-hand drive bodies, especially taking into account the possible appearance of new modifications. The “vacated” index 21031 was used to designate the “real” modification 2103 (VAZ-21031 is not mentioned in the official list of modifications of the 2103 model. Its conventionality is even emphasized by the fact that to identify these cars, ordinary 2103 nameplates were used, where indices were painted on model and engine were simply supplemented with the numbers “1” stamped in the metal), equipped with a new engine (also temporarily designated as “VAZ-21031”) and released in order to obtain consumer reviews about it in a very small batch (150-200 units) in the summer of 1975 (in the first batches of the VAZ-2106, the engines on the nameplate were officially marked with paint as “VAZ-21031”). A distinctive feature of these cars was the red or yellow color of the engine cylinder head, depending on the version of the installed gearbox (respectively, with the previous series of gear ratios or with an adapted one).


  • VAZ-21061 / LADA 1500 S (engine VAZ-2103, in the post-Soviet years, factory equipment with bumpers from the VAZ-2105 was allowed).
  • VAZ-21062 (right hand drive car export modification).
  • VAZ-21063 / LADA 1300SL (engine VAZ-21011).
  • VAZ-21064 (right hand drive car export modification).
  • VAZ-21065 (modernized modification with improved equipment (luxury). Produced in 1990-2001).
  • VAZ-21066 (right hand drive car export modification).
  • VAZ-2106 from Izhevsk plant (VAZ-21067 engine, Euro-2).

Assembly: Tolyatti (USSR/Russia) / Syzran (Russia) / Izhevsk (Russia) / Kherson (Ukraine)

Years of production: 1976—2006

Production: +4,300,000 units

Length: 4166 mm

Width: 1611 mm

Height: 1440 mm

Powerplant: ВАЗ-2103

Engine: 4 cylinders; 1452 cc

Power: 77 HP

Max speed: 156 km/h

Fuel consumption: 7 l/100 km

Weight: 1465 kg

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