Early Brazilian Chevette
|Also called||GMC Chevette (Argentina)|
until 1996 in Ecuador, 1998 in Colombia
|Assembly||Alvear, Santa Fe, Argentina (GMC Chevette),
Sao Caetano do Sul, Brazil
Quito, Ecuador (Aymesa)
|Body style||3-door hatchback
3-door station wagon
|Engine||1.0 L I4
1,398 cc I4
1,599 cc I4
1.8 L 4FB1 diesel I4
|Wheelbase||2,395 mm (94.3 in)|
|Length||4,161 mm (163.8 in) (1985 sedans)
3,961 mm (155.9 in) (1985 HB)
4,197 mm (165.2 in) (1985 Marajó)
|Width||1,570 mm (61.8 in) (1985)|
|Height||1,325 mm (52.2 in) (1985)
1,385 mm (54.5 in) (1985 Marajó)
|Curb weight||836–923 kg (1,840–2,030 lb) (1985)|
The Chevrolet Chevette was first launched by General Motors (Brazil) in 1973 as a two-door sedan. A four-door sedan followed in April 1978, and then a three-door hatchback was added in November 1979. The hatchback had unique bodywork for Latin America, longer than the European Kadett City and with a notch at the base à la the period Ford Escort. A three-door station wagon version, called the "Marajó" in Brazil, was added in September 1980, as was a sporting version of the hatchback called the 1.6 SR (with a mere four more horsepower, achieved by a somewhat higher compression ratio). In 1983 the Chevette received a thorough facelift with rectangular headlights, with the turn signals located underneath the headlights, a flatter hood and single-piece grille. The dash was also new, as were ventilation windows in the front doors. Mechanically, the 1.6 was now also available to run on gasoól and a five-speed manual gearbox was available as an option.
The Latin American Chevettes underwent a series of facelifts, in 1978, 1983, and a major one in 1987 which meant new headlights and a black plastic grille. Where available, the station wagon used the Chevette name outside of Brazil.
The hatchback remained in production until 1988, while the Marajó continued to be available until 1989. Marajó is an island located at the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil. The four-door sedan version was built until 1989, mainly for export to other Latin American countries. The two-door coupe remained in production until 1993, only outlived by the pickup version (Chevy 500) which continued until 1994 after having been first launched in 1983. The four-door sedan continued to be built for a few more years in Ecuador and Colombia.
In Argentina, the Kadett C was originally marketed as the Opel K-180, but between 1980 and 1995 the equivalent of the Brazilian Chevette was sold there as the GMC Chevette. A fibreglass-bodied version called the Grumett was built in Uruguay, either with station wagon bodywork or as a double-cab pickup. This replaced an earlier version which used bodywork based on that of the Vauxhall Chevette. The Grumett used the original 1.4 liter version of the Chevette engine. The regular Chevette was also assembled in Uruguay, by General Motors Uruguaya. It was sold there as a two- or four-door sedan, either with the 1.4 petrol or the 1.8 diesel. Production in Colombia, where a special version for taxi usage was also built, continued until 1998.
The Chevette originally appeared with a 1.4-liter inline-four of Isuzu origins, albeit with a single overhead cam rather than the pushrod model originally used in the United States. This was later augmented by a locally developed 1.6-liter version, it too with a single carburetor. The Brazilian 1.6 was somewhat larger than the Isuzu-developed G161Z engine used in North America. After 1988, there was also a twin-carb version of the 1.6. The lower-powered 1.4 was eventually replaced, but as a tax cut for sub-1-liter cars appeared in late 1990, General Motors do Brasil responded with a 1-litre, 50 PS (37 kW) "Chevette Junior" for 1992. The Junior had a brief shelflife, only remaining available until 1993. A 1.8 liter Isuzu diesel-engined version was also built, exclusively for neighboring export markets as diesel passenger cars were not allowed in Brazil. In the Brazilian market, both the 1.4 and the 1.6 were available in gasoline and alcohol versions.
Around 1.6 million units were built in Brazil, with the Corsa replacing the Junior and the Chevrolet Kadett/Ipanema replacing the bigger engined versions.
Read more about this topic: Chevrolet Chevette
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