In a series of pictures, General Motors has unveiled the very tough looking Chevrolet Niva Concept that has made its public debut at the Moscow International Auto Show. The Niva is essentially an SUV based on the classic Lada SUV currently in its first generation and the Niva concept previews the next generation model that is most likely to be introduced in 2016. Produced by GM and AutoVaz in Russia, the Niva concept gets bigger in size by 260 mm, measuring a total of 4316 mm.

Apart from the length, GM has also changed the suspension set-up on the Niva concept that gets updated with McPherson struts at the front, while the rear retains the independent suspension setup. Permanent all-wheel drive has also been retained from the outgoing model along with a lockable centre differential and a transfer case featuring two-stage reduction gear. The SUV is being presented in a very off-roader style package but will lose a major chunk of its features upon reaching production.

The Niva Concept is equipped with a snorkel, engine protection on the front axle, winch and a roof rack with a spare tyre. The concept rides on 16-inch wheels with rugged off-road tyres. The finishing however comes from the matte black paint job that adds to the rugged appeal of the SUV. GM could offer the off-roader pack for the Russian market as an optional accessory upon launch.

In terms of powertrain, GM will be replacing the Opel sourced 1.8-litre naturally aspirated engine with a new 1.8-litre unit producing 135 HP of power coming from PSA-Peugeot Citroen. The new engine is paired to a 5-speed manual transmission and will be riding on 16-inch wheels. The next generation Niva SUV will be launched with a range of two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options in manual and automatic configurations. A diesel powered Niva SUV is out of the question due to heavy costs in developing the diesel version.

The new Chevrolet Niva will make it to production by December 2015 with the launch scheduled in the succeeding year. In India, GM is most likely to make a compact SUV based on the Adra concept showcased at this year’s Auto Expo. However, the compact SUV is still a good time away from launch. Nonetheless, we do hope that the upcoming compact SUV for India takes notes from the Niva concept.