General Motors do Brasil has finally introduced a five-door version of its unique Chevrolet Celta built on the old Opel Corsa platform, writes Rogério Louro.

The Celta was launched in September 2000 with three doors.

As well as launching the new bodystyle, GM has updated the engine to the new Corsa’s one-litre eight-valve 70bhp engine in place of an older 60 bhp unit.

“We want to sell 120,000 Celtas in 2002 after selling about 90,000 last year,” said General Motors do Brasil VP José Carlos Pinheiro Neto.

That target would match the total production capacity of GM’s Gravataí plant, in Rio Grande do Sul state, which makes only the Celta range.

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About 79% of Celtas are sold directly on the Internet making it the world’s leading web-sold car.

The expansion of the Celta range signals the end of production of the old generation Corsa hatchback in Brazil. Only the previous generation Corsa sedan survives as an entry-level compact sedan model.

The new Corsa sedan, launched in March, is GM’s top model in the compact segment.