General Motors do Brasil has updated its S10 pick-up and Blazer SUV to comply with new Brazilian emission rules for diesel engines - and to compete with the newly launched redesigned Toyota Hilux pick-up.

From this year, new vehicles sold in Brazil with diesel engines must meet the new Proconve 5 emission standard (based on the EU's Euro 3 rule).

As a result GM has had to switch its 2.8-litre mechanical-injection diesel to an updated unit with electronic control and common rail injection. Both the outgoing and new engines are made locally by MWM.

The S10 and Blazer both continue to be offered with an unchanged 2.4-litre petrol engine.

Coinciding with the diesel engine update, the models also received minor styling changes - notably a new grille and front guards - plus a new instrument cluster.

GM is hoping the updates will boost S10 sales in the face of a "tsunami" assult by Toyota's acclaimed all-new Hilux.

The S10 had been the best-selling mid-size pick-up in Brazil since 1995, but this year lost out to the new Hilux introduced in March - it's imported from Argentina.

Between January and July, GM sold 6,065 S10s in Brazil, while Toyota moved 7,630 of the new Hilux between March and July alone.

More opposition to the GM products is coming in October when Toyota launches a direct rival for the Blazer - the Hilux SW4 SUV.

GM won't have a fully redesigned, Brazilian-built mid-size pick-up and SUV to fight back against Toyota until the end of 2007.

The company is developing new models based on the Japanese-designed, Thai-made, Isuzu D-Max range.

Rogério Louro