The Drom.ru portal reports that UAZ has decided to abandon plans to produce a promising SUV, popularly known as the “Russian Prado”. The plant suspended the project back in November of the twentieth year, and, apparently, does not plan to resume development. This information was allegedly announced to the journalists by their own sources in the camp of the company, as well as by its former employees.
Recall that for the first time they started talking about the “Russian Prado” a few years ago, while the project itself was a deeply modernized version of the current Patriot. In the camp of the company, such a car was called “Patriot-2020”.
It was expected that the car will receive a gasoline turbo engine in two power options (for 150 and 170 forces). Plus, the possibility of a version with a 2.2-liter Ford diesel engine, which is familiar from the commercial Transit model, was not ruled out.
During these years, UAZ managed to patent a number of components for the upcoming novelty, including a radiator grille and a multimedia system. Moreover, several full-size models of the modernized Patriot were built at the plant, but it never came to road tests.
There are several reasons for abandoning the “Russian Prado”, and the main one is the lack of funding. The development of the model was carried out in conditions of a chronic lack of funds, because of which the employees of the enterprise had to simplify the design of the model over and over again.
According to insider information, during this time about $ 100 million was spent on the project (approximately 7.4 billion rubles at the current exchange rate). Moreover, if the developers did not simplify anything, then this amount would be even greater.
Sollers also failed to launch the model into the series because of the parallel preparation for small-scale production of Aurus sedans at the plant in Yelabuga, which required a few more costs than originally planned.
So far, UAZ has not officially confirmed the refusal to develop a model, although the company noted that during the coronavirus pandemic, the project was indeed frozen. At the same time, the company is allegedly working on drawing up a new investment schedule and implementation plan.
Note that the company is not the first time to wind down potentially promising projects. So, back in 2014, Ulyanovsk residents were working on an unnamed crossover, which was supposed to receive a monocoque body, new turbo engines and a completely independent suspension. The development of this model was carried out for two years, after which it was completely stopped – since then nothing has been heard about the project.
Updated: A little later, Autonews.ru published a comment from UAZ: “During the pandemic, we really were forced to freeze a number of works on the project. And now we are developing a new investment schedule and implementation plan. But no one refuses the strategic task of developing a new platform for UAZ SUVs ”. There is no information about the timing of the resumption of work yet.