Rob Huff says the all-new Lada Vesta TC1 'is a proper race car' after giving it a first shakedown during pre-season testing ahead of the upcoming World Touring Car Championship.

The Vesta TC1 is set to replace the Granta model for LADA's WTCC campaign and all three of the Russian manufacturer's drivers - Huff, James Thompson and Mikhail Kozlovskiy - had a run in the new car at the team's technical base at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France.

"Having driven the new Lada Vesta TC1 there is no doubt that this is a proper race car worthy of a proper effort in 2015," Huff said. "It's testament to Lada and what it is achieving as a car manufacturer that it can design and build a car of this quality in such a short space of time.

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"Having won in the Lada Granta last year, we knew that we had to make a significant step forward to move to the next level and I believe this is the vehicle to take us there."

The new car will race long before it goes on sale with production due to start in September. Lada Sport Team Principal Victor Shapovalov says the car is hitting targets but admits time is against the team to be ready for the season-opener in Argentina on the 6-8 March.

"The new car fully meets our expectations for the fact that is boasts higher straight-line speeds, greater cornering stability and much-improved aerodynamics. Of course, the team has a lot of work ahead of it - this is a totally new model which was built from scratch, and it requires much more testing.

"Unfortunately, due to the early season start this year we are time-restricted, and it's obvious that tests will continue during the first WTCC rounds. The team has completed a huge bulk of the work over these two months and we are still working 24 hours a day to be prepared for the first race in Argentina."