Russian car brand Lada is to be given some cosmetic surgery at the hands of a British designer who is moving from stake holder Renault.

Anthony Grade, chief designer for the French carmaker, is moving next month to Togliatti, 600 miles south of Moscow, to become design head at Lada manufacturer AvtoVAZ.

Renault took a 25% stake in AvtoVAZ earlier this year and Grade is tasked with bringing the Lada look up to date.

It's a challenge he is looking forward to. "It's going to be something of an adventure," he said. "It's an opportunity to get involved in building a new team and bringing them up to world class standards. How many times do you get the chance to do something like that?"

Grade, 51, at Renault for 20 years, added: "In Russia, Lada is a very strong brand and is the best selling car make - and Russians are very proud of it.

"I hope to bring in some new, young designers and open a design studio in Moscow to help bring a fresh face to the brand."

He admitted that developing a new look would take time. "As always with design, you are working many years ahead although I hope to be able to have a show car or two relatively quickly and we can work on some facelifts along the way as we develop new models."

Alliance buts Russian plant