General Motors do Brasil has launched a new generation Chevrolet Corsa in Brazil with a unique nose design and engines that differ from the Spanish-built European models sold in other markets, writes Rogério Louro Alves.

The new models are built in the Brazilian São José dos Campos plant and in Argentina’s Rosario plant.

Argentine sales start shortly and the new compact will also be produced from Brazilian CKD kits in Equador, Colombia and South Africa from the end of this year.

An Opel spokesman said there were no plans to sell the sedan version in Europe or to adopt the Chevrolet nose styling for European-built models.

The new Brazilian Corsa hatchback model has frontal styling inspired by the Astra with deep headlamps rather than the narrower, eye-shaped units of the European car.

“Brazilians’ design preferences are different from European consumers and we prefer to produce a car that can meet their desires and open markets in other countries outside Europe,” said GM do Brasil marketing director Daniel Buteler.

Like its predecessor, the new Brazilian Corsa range includes a unique sedan version which is 150mm longer at 4170 mm, 350mm longer than the hatchback.

Brazilian Corsas offer either a 1.0-litre eight-valve petrol engine developing 71 hp or a 102 bhp 1.8-litre eight-valver. Argentine versions have either the 1.8 or a 1.7-litre diesel engine.

GM will also soon launch a second generation Corsa pick-up, another unique South American derivative, but there won’t be a new station wagon.

Instead, the old model, which stays in production, will be supplemented by a Corsa-based minivan similar to the Opel Concept M model first shown at last week’s Geneva Auto Show.

GM Brazil invested $US 360 million developing and building its new Corsa line.