About a month ago, Lada teased the next-generation Niva that should debut in 2024 with a new platform and technologies. Even with the Renault-sourced architecture though, it’s probably safe to assume the off-roader will never get a diesel engine from the factory. That doesn’t mean an oil-burning Niva doesn’t exist and, of course, it comes from Russia.
The ПриветТачка channel on YouTube is detailing the outstanding work done to a Niva with a transplanted BMW N47 diesel engine. Despite the somewhat misleading title of the video, suggesting there’s a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 under the hood, the crossover gets a more modest 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel delivering approximately 250 horsepower. Sure, it’s way more powerful than any other Niva but it’s not quite what we were hoping for.
Nevertheless, we have to admire all the modifications made to the vehicle in order to fit the four-cylinder engine. The suspension has been revised significantly and even the engine bay has been tweaked to accommodate the engine that’s larger and heavier than the original 1.7-liter unit. The powertrain sends power to the rear wheels through an automatic gearbox sourced from a 3 Series.
Even though the performance numbers of the BMW-powered Niva are nowhere near the X5 M, it’s still a pretty potent machine. With a 0-62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) acceleration in about 6.0 seconds, it’s decently quick off-the-line. And it’s good for drifting, too, as you can see in the video.
The engine and transmission are not the only components sourced from BMW models. The interior gets an infotainment system from the Bavarian brand and there’s even a two-zone automatic climate control - something no other Niva driver has ever experienced before. Oh, and don’t forget the giant 20-inch wheels (not sourced from a BMW) with studded winter tires for optimal traction.