Moskvitch 412

Moskvitch 412
Manufacturer MZMA/AZLK
Production 1967—1976 as "Moskvitch-412/427/434"
1967—1982 as "Izh-412/427"
1973—1982 as "Izh-2125/2715"
Predecessor Moskvitch 403
Successor Moskvitch 2140 (for Moskvitch)
Izh Comby (for Izh)
Class Compact car
Body style 4-door sedan
4- and 2- door station wagon
2-door pick-up
Layout FR layout
Engine UZAM 412, 1500 cc
Wheelbase 2,400 mm (94.5 in)
Length 4,250 mm (167.3 in) / 4,250 mm (167.3 in)
Width 1,550 mm (61.0 in)
Curb weight 1,045 kg (2,304 lb) / 1,045 kg (2,304 lb)
Related Moskvitch 408

The Moskvitch 412 (Moskvich 412, M-412), also called 2140 in 1975 prior to discontinuation and 1500 SL outside USSR, is a small family car produced by Soviet manufacturer MZMA/AZLK from 1967 to 1976. It was also built as the Izh 412 by IZH in Izhevsk from 1967 to 1982 and replaced by the spun off Izh Comby series thereafter. The 412, although featuring many flaws gradually fixed with its replacement, was one of the best known third generation Moskvitches and, until 1974, the best selling car in the history of AZLK.

Basically, Moskvitch 412 was an upgrade of the 408 model in terms of engine features, as much as the second generation M-403 was an upgrade of the 402/407. Falsely, both cars are often considered as one chain of succession, which is incorrect since the 412 was in planned development before the 408 production began, simply offering more features to the driver for more expenses. Unlike 407, the car was made affordable by the absence of concurrency in many Eastern Bloc countries (besides its own relative, the 408).

The 1500 cc was a slant inline-4 engine. Block, head and inlet manifold were aluminium castings. Steel cylinder liners were replaceable to enable easy repair of the engine instead of having to replace it entirely. The same engine was used on Moskvitch cars until the sixth generation (2142).

In 1969 both the 412 and the related 408 had their body and taillights redesigned. These were notable for being the first Moskvitch models to feature square headlights and vertical rear lights and triangular turn signals, which passed on to the 2138/2140 in 1976. Until then, the 412 profited from heightened tailfins and tanned headlight lamps on export models. Another notable (but not unique, since it was used in other Russian cars at the time) feature were the so-called side lamps, mounted on the C-pillars on some vehicles (something like the American "opera lights").

It was launched in the United Kingdom in 1969, when the first 20 dealerships were set up and some 300 cars were sold; sales peaked in 1973 when some 14,500 cars were sold through a 268-dealer network. However, sales fell soon afterwards and Moskvich was withdrawn from the United Kingdom before the end of the 1970s, by which time it had fallen behind fellow Soviet brand Lada in the sales charts.[1]

Outside USSR, the 412 received contradictory reviews. At the time, Soviet automotive industry was mainly focusing on powertrain and speed handling, overlooking such issues as design, seating comfort and safety. Therefore, M-412 was the first Moskvitch to pass safety features test in France, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Sweden in 1970—71 and Germany in 1972, which might have seemed standard for Western car brand-influenced Europe, but was a considerable breakthrough for the Soviet engineers. The design features, however, would not be given consideration for Moskvitch as far as until its fourth generation, the Aleko.

In 1975, it was planned to rename both M-408 and M-412 respectively as M-2138 and M-2140, primarily because AZLK was passing to 4-digit model codes, but also because of an earlier adaptation to the real M-2140, which entered in production starting 1976. Therefore, the only difference between this model and its successor, at the time, was the engine change.


Trims and models


  • M—412 was the base sedan model that underwent various adaptations with letters such as "E", "I", "U", "P", etc. added after its numbers. Letters usually meant the class of the vehicle (as in luxury residential, commercial, governmental, sports, export, and so on) instead of precising words used on earlier models.
  • М—427, a station wagon on the same base, produced from 1969, replacing the M-426 wagon. AZLK stopped making these in 1976, however, IZH continued with production for up to 1982. Starting 1971, the base of this model served to create the Izh-2125 hatchback (see below).
  • M—434, which was the unibody panel van variant that succeeded the 433 straight from 1967 to 1973 (thereafter it was replaced by the Izh-2715 that increased in popularity by that time). Both this model and M-427 kept their rear light tailfin design until 1982, and passed it on to M-2137 variants from 1975.


  • Izh—412 — practically similar to M-412, with slight changes in the frontal grille (featuring design elements from earlier M-408). Since IZH stopped delivering the Izh-408s in 1967, last production Izh-408 lines were also named "Izh-412" for convenience.
  • Izh—427 was a calque of the M-427, with no other changes beside the company logo. The car, however, entered in production only in 1971 because of the abundance in Moskvitch variants.
  • Izh—2125 — surnamed "Kombi", was the first Soviet hatchback series produced from 1973 to 1982, before receiving the Moskvitch 2140 platform as Izh-21251. It was then kept in production until 1997.
  • Izh—2715 was IZH's panel van variant, also produced from 1973 and commonly referred to as a "covered pick-up". Izh kept this variant starting 1982 and stylistically improved it, maximally approaching the Kombi.

Relationship to M-408


The original 412 of 1967-69 had a chassis identical to that of the Moskvitch 408, which had been launched 3 years earlier in 1964. The only differences between 408 and 412 were the engines and the interior. This can be confusing, because there are no external differences between the two cars.

Here are the main differences between the Moskvitch 412 and the Moskvitch 408:

Moskvitch 412 Moskvitch 408
Production 1967–1976 1964–1976
Engine model 412 408
Chassis 408 (1967–1969); 412 (1969–1976) 408 (1964–1969); 412 (1969–1970)
Successor Moskvitch 2140 Moskvitch 2138

The differences between the 412 and the 408 chassis:

412 408
Production 1967–1976 1964–1976
Features Square headlights; horizontal rear lights; triangular rear turn signal markers; separated front seats; floor mounted gearshift lever (except for the 408 which had column-mounted shifter until 1973). 2 or 4 (twin) round headlights; vertical rear lights; front bench seat (until 1968); column mounted gearshift lever (on the 408 until 1973, on the 412 until the fall of 1968).

UZAM-412 1500 vs. BMW M115 1500

Engine First year of production Volume, cc Max HP Max torque, N*m Block material Head material Type Carburetor
BMW M115 (1500) 1961 1499 75 at 5500 rpm 118 at 3000 rpm Iron Aluminium SOHC, propelled by chain, valves had V-layout Solex 34 PICB - 2bbl
UZAM-412 (1500) 1967 1480 75 at 5800 rpm 108 at 3400-3800 rpm Aluminium with replaceable iron wetliners Aluminium SOHC, propelled by chain, valves had V-layout LenKarz K-126N - 2bbl



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