One hundred and forty-one: compare AZLK-2141 and Audi 100 C2 (part 1)
AZLK-2141 – Moskvich, who never became Aleko, but remained forever “forty-first”. This is the first (and, in fact, the last) serial front-wheel drive car of the Lenin Komsomol Automobile Plant, which in the mid-eighties initially even competed with the super popular Togliatti representatives of the “eighth” family. But what if you compare this car with the legendary German “weaving” – Audi 100 with index C2? Yes, this car was produced a decade earlier than the “forty-first” entered the Soviet roads, but it will be more interesting to compare the front-wheel drive from Audi 40 years ago with its younger Soviet counterpart. Moreover, in their design, it turns out, you can find a lot in common.
A bit of history
In the early seventies, the designers of the AZLK plant tried to “jump” to a higher class, taking an intermediate position between the Zhiguli, their own previous models and the Volga. However, for a number of reasons, a number of experimental “concept cars” did not reach the assembly line, and the USSR Minavtoprom decided to turn in the direction of front-wheel drive, which was gaining in the mid-seventies. Moreover, as a “prototype donor”, the Moscow plant was ordered to take a Simca 1307/1308 car, which became the holder of the title “European Car 1976”.
In the photo: Simca 1307, produced from 1975 to 1980
True, the future “forty-first” received not a transverse arrangement of the power unit, as in the French source, but a longitudinal motor, which in the literal sense was attached to the cut Simka’s body along with a new front part.
The layout of the French-American car with our Muscovite did not have much in common …
… but in the appearance of the “maximum” there was still a lot from the “donor”, with the exception of the front
So the French hatchback in 1977 began to turn into a car, which can be considered a conditional analogue of the Audi 100 C2 – at least in appearance and general layout decisions.
The second generation “weaving”, released in 1976, continued the commercial success of the Audi 100 C1, which radically differed from previous Volkswagen Group models by the front engine layout and the type of cooling.
Many in the USSR mistakenly considered this “hundred” the first in the family, since cars of the previous generation were practically not imported into the Soviet Union
A few years before the production of the “forty-first” was launched in Moscow, the production of the “second” Audi 100 was stopped in Neckarsulm, collecting a little less than a million cars in 6 years (before 1982), after which it was replaced on the assembly line the new “hundred” – C3. A similar phenomenon was common for Western manufacturers – after 6-8 years, the model usually went into retirement, having experienced one or more intermediate restylings. Moreover, at that time the competition between German manufacturers was becoming more tangible and intense – especially when it came to Mercedes, BMW and Audi.
“Forty-first” at that time was born heavily and painfully in the Soviet Union, as a huge country with a planned and administrative economy switched to self-supporting and market-based rails, and the plant managed to reach the level of at least 100,000 cars a year only in 1990, by 2001, having produced just over 700,000 vehicles of this family.
The metallic color, fashionable at that time, went to a few copies of AZLK-2141 from among the very first
The export name “Aleko” did not take root, but the car in the USSR was called the “cripple”
But if the Audi 100 in the fourth generation was reborn into the A6 and lives and lives under this designation to this day, then the AZLK-2141 has become a kind of epitaph for Muscovites as a brand and for the production of cars at the Leninsky Komsomol plant.
Based on the fact that the designers and constructors of Moskvich were forced to “sculpt” their new model on the back of Simka, it turns out that the Soviet and French cars are similar in appearance in much the same way as the Spanish Seat Toledo and its illegal Chinese clone Chery Amulet.
Chery Amulet (second photo) – the same “illegal clone” as our Moskvich. But only outside, and even then not everywhere
Another solution of the front part with a positive front slope instead of a negative one, slightly more “licked” bumpers, but at the same time the silhouette that almost completely coincides with the “donor”, looked like the AZLK-2141 in comparison with Simka.
“Badge Engineering” Talbot 1510 – that’s where Moskvich got such a front end!
In fairness, we note that in the mid-eighties the “forty-first” looked both modern and even quite fresh – of course, by Soviet standards.
WHAT ELSE TO SAY ABOUT THE MACHINE. GORGEOUS DESIGN, CONVENIENTLY LOCATED CONTROLS, SPACIOUS SALON. BUT ALL OF THIS EVALUATE AND FEEL WHEN YOU APPLY HANDS FOR YOURSELF: ADJUST THE FASTENING OF THE SEATS, REACH THE FASTENERS, TAPE WHERE IT IS REQUIRED, SEAL THE MOBILE SHEARS ALREADY!
K. Rudakov, “Moskvich-2141 through the eyes of the owners” (“Behind the Wheel”, 1987, No. 11)
Pre-production prototypes were slightly different from serial machines in small parts. And invariably aroused great interest among Soviet motorists – both those who drove the previous models of Muscovites and those who rode on more prestigious VAZs!
And the “forty-first” had excellent aerodynamics – at least the rear window of this car remained clean even without a “janitor”, while Togliatti hatchbacks immediately came to be known as terrible “dirties”.
The body of the “forty-first” turned out to be balanced in appearance and fairly streamlined, which positively affected the quality of “mud aerodynamics”
However, the AZLK-2141, despite the large plastic bumpers and the lack of “windows” in the front doors, was still inferior in integrity to the image of the “hundredth”, released a decade earlier. In addition, the Soviet car did not work out with other types of body, while Audi was not only a five-door (Avant with a body length of 4587 mm), but was also offered with two- and four-door three-volume bodies, whose overall length reached 4680 mm.
The American cars had the original round optics and protruding bumpers that meet the safety requirements in force in the USA, due to which the length of the body increased to 4.8 meters
That is, the size of a German car with a wheelbase of 2677 mm was noticeably larger than the “forty-first”, approaching the Soviet Volga. The elegant and restrained design of the Audi 100 in this body was quickly appreciated by our compatriots who actively imported this used model in the early nineties. Alas, in terms of corrosion resistance, this car could not be compared with later cars of the same model, and most of the “hundredths” with the C2 index, like the AZLK-2141, were in landfills, disassemblies and metal reception points precisely because of a rotten body.
Dust instead of metal: for 10-15 years, Audi in our conditions decayed no worse than its Soviet “colleague”
However, the most surprising thing is that visually our “forty-first” and Audi 100 in the Avant modification looked very similar, although in the case of Moskvich everything is explained by its “French accent”.