The next-gen Chevrolet Niva has been spotted undergoing tests in Southern Europe.

Lada Niva? Yes, the current Chevrolet Niva sold in Russia is a development of the Lada Niva. A Chevrolet Niva “vision concept” was exhibited by GM-AvtoVAZ at the Moscow International Automobile Salon last August. Designed by GM´s Ondrej Koromhaz, the new Niva is expected to hit showrooms next year.

The spyshots are of a fully camouflaged mule, but it’s obvious that the Niva concept’s design is being brought to production almost wholesale. The daylight opening seen here matches the concept’s, especially at the rear quarter window; ditto the upward-pointing swage line that bisects the rear window and rear screen. The headlamp and grille shapes appear similar too.

Word is that the a PSA-developed four-cylinder 1.8 litre petrol engine and a five-speed manual gearbox will be offered. It’s a rugged looking thing, this Niva, and there are shades of Perodua Nautica and Ford EcoSport at certain angles. Will GM keep it in Russia or will it be RHD-adapted and brought to other developing markets like India and Indonesia?

Chevrolet Niva Concept from Moscow 2014