What do we know about UAZ Hunter? We know that this is a brutal army SUV, with spartan decoration and practically unchanged for 40 years (recall, the UAZ-469 appeared in 1972) appearance. Where can we present it abroad?
Perhaps, that in the army of North Korea or some African dictatorial regime. However, civilian versions of this car, no, no, and from time to time seeped into the European market.
One such example is the German firm Bajah Automotive. From 2003 to 2007, she was engaged in the refinement and sale of UAZ vehicles in Europe. At first, only a few complete sets of “goat” were sold, and a little later they began to sell the Patriot as well.
How did the German hunters differ from ours?
In Germany they were sold first as Bajah Tigr, later as Bajah Taigah. Customers were offered options with a metal (Active) and tilt (Cabrio) roof, as well as an exclusive – a two-seater Taigah Specials pickup.
There were also three levels of equipment to choose from: Basic, Comfort and Limited. The price ranged from 16,500 to 18,950 euros. In addition, the company offered an extensive list of additional options – from beautiful BBS alloy wheels to the installation of an Iveco diesel engine. With the maximum set of “bells and whistles” the price could gallop far beyond 20,000 euros.
As for the technical stuffing, the Germans made some improvements here too. The base engine ZMZ-409 was up to Euro-4 standards. Instead of the standard UAZ box, Taiga was equipped with a five-speed Korean Dymos gearbox. In the suspension, the native shock absorbers were replaced with Bilstein, the clutch – with Luk. The brakes were also refined.
Bajah also did a good job with the interior / exterior of the UAZ: they replaced the rear optics, bumpers, added corrugated metal, slightly modified the stern and front end, slightly refined the interior. Do not forget about the most beautiful Specials pickup, produced by a special version.
In general, if Bajah Automotive had a more developed dealer network, and UAZ invested better in exporting its products not only to Asia and Africa, but also to Europe, then these cars would be able to compete quite well with other similar SUVs.
But it didn’t work out. By the end of the 2000s, the German company quietly went bankrupt and closed. Apparently, there was no normal European off-road on earth to appreciate all the delights of this car.
See also: Tuning UAZs abroad: interesting and unexpected projects