Lada XRAY concept: A Russian Evoque?

Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque recently set the world on fire with its combination of style and functionality. Lada, one of Russia’s largest automakers, seems to want in on that action. The company showed the XRAY, a a rakish compact crossover concept, at this week’s Moscow Motor Show.

The XRAY looks pretty good, but upon closer inspection it seems like Steve Mattin, the former Volvo designer who penned the concept, thought it would be easier to copy styling cues from other cars and recombine them.

At the front, the grille and headlight shapes remind one of the Kia Sorento and Optima, albeit with a blacked-out piece connecting the grille and lower air intake. The chrome tusks that extend from the headlights to the side intakes are an interesting touch.

The high beltline and low roof will definitely invite comparisons with the Evoque (or a futuristic urban assault vehicle), while the taillights look they came straight off a previous-generation European Ford Focus.

The scalloping around the fenders and the chrome-trimmed character line running through the door recall the Citroen DS3 hatchback, another trendy European automotive fashion item.

As a product of the Soviet bureaucracy, Lada has traditionally built simple, spartan vehicles for the proletariat. The XRAY is an attempt by the company to move upmarket. The concept’s interior features such niceties as leather-trimmed bucket seats, brushed aluminum trim, and a dashboard-mounted LCD screen for controlling navigation, audio, and climate control functions.

Lada hasn’t totally jumped on the luxury bandwagon, though. An Evoque may have a push button starter, but the XRAY turns over with an old school key and ignition barrel.

As a state-run carmaker during the Soviet era (originally called AutoVAZ) and an independent business in the bleak, post-Cold War Russian economy, Lada has not had many opportunities to build decent cars, let alone luxurious ones. It’s known for the primitive, Fiat 124-based Riva, the slightly more modern Samara hatchback, and the Jeep-like Niva 4×4.

With the XRAY, Lada hopes to change that. It plans to introduce elements of the concept’s styling in future vehicles, giving them a more premium feel. The XRAY could turn out to be Lada’s version of the KUE, the 2007 concept that was one of Kia’s first attempts to break out of the bargain basement; it eventually morphed into the current Sportage.

Lada may need to refine its styling a little more in order to get a signature look like Kia’s, but the XRAY is an impressive start. Putting Evoque-like styling in a simpler, cheaper package could be a recipe for market success if the XRAY ever enters production.

Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Computing

Chrome’s dark mode may cast its shadow over Macs by early 2019

By early 2019 Google may release a version of Chrome for Mac users that offers a Dark Mode feature to match MacOS Mojave's recent darkening.
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Cars

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Cars

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.