General Motors do Brasil has started selling the 2005 model year Chevrolet Zafira minivan with restyled nose and flex-fuel engine, writes Rogerio Louro.

The two-litre, eight-valve flex-fuel engine runs on petrol, alcohol or a blend of the two and was developed in conjunction with Bosch. GM already has flex-fuel engines in its range but this newcomer is the most powerful to date and also the most powerful flex-fuel engine available in Brazil.

Power output varies between 121hp and 127hp depending on the fuel used. The Zafira’s previous petrol-powered two-litre eight-valve engine develops 116hp.

The 2005 Zafira is also the first flex-fuel vehicle sold in Brazil with the option of automatic transmission.

In the next few weeks GM do Brasil will increase its flex-fuel range with a version of the Astra. It already offers flex-fuel versions of the Corsa hatchback, the locally-developed Corsa sedan, Meriva minivan and Brazil-designed, Corsa-based Montana pick-up truck.