No, there is no mistake in the title – Porsche restyled the famous VAZ 2103 back in 1976. But the Soviets rejected the project.
What is it?
Under its skin, the Lada-Porsche 2103 is basically a standard 2103 model – a car, based on the Fiat 124, just like the Lada Classic series. There’s only one prototype ever created that currently lives in the garage of a former Porsche employee.
Where and when was it made?
To be honest, it’s hard to tell exactly where and when the vehicle was made. Most likely, the prototype has been handed to engineers and designers, who worked at Porsche’s Stuttgart centers.
Being a 2103 means it has a front engine, sending power to the rear wheels through a manual gearbox. What Porsche did here is retuning the motor to accept bad gas and adding some aluminum details to lower the weight.
What’s so special about it?
It was 1975 when Porsche’s chairman Ernst Fuhrmann met with the Soviet automotive industry minister Viktor Polyakov. They agreed on a three-year, half-a-million-deutsche mark deal, which gives the German company the task to help the Russians with the design of their vehicles.
The first and, as it turned out later, the failed result of their partnership is the Lada-Porsche 2103 – a facelifted version of the 2103 that retained the core elements of the model. The overall body shape remained unchanged, but Porsche put plastic body-colored bumpers and radiator grille, and eliminating all chrome exterior details, except for the wheel covers and the door handles.
Other improvements the Germans made included revised suspension and fully redesigned interior that featured a new dashboard with different instrument cluster, a new Porsche 928-inspired steering wheel, new heating controls, and leather seats.
But, as the story goes, VAZ rejected the project, mainly because it was already working on its own facelift for the 2103 that debuted a couple of months later under the 2106 name.