Estimated to be priced around Rs. 9 lakh (ex-showroom), the Maruti Baleno RS will take on the Volkswagen GT TSI in India.
Powered by a 1.0-litre, 110bhp Boosterjet petrol engine, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS is claimed to deliver high performance and decent fuel efficiency.
Maruti India will launch the more powerful and sportier derivative of its premium hatchback – Baleno on 3rd March 2017. Previewed at the 2016 Auto Expo, Baleno RS will be Maruti’s entry into the hot hatchback segment which currently offers Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and Fiat Punto Abarth. Mimicking Baleno entirely in styling and designing, it is essentially a performance version of the hatchback armed with a more powerful engine. It is to be noted that the RS trim will be available on the top-spec Alpha trim in the carline and will carry forward provisions from the regular Baleno along with additional equipment for sportier look.
While the styling and design cues are retained from the Baleno, the only major addition to the hot hatch will be the new 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine that is already available on the global model. Putting out a healthy 100bhp, the engine will use the conventional 5-speed manual unit along with a six-speed auto box. In addition to a more powerful engine, Baleno RS will also receive updated suspension set-up for improved performance. Since the Baleno model is retailed through Nexa network, the Baleno RS will also be sold via Maruti’s premium network. Read – Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Facelift India Launch in 2017
Maruti will venture into the hot hatchback segment with the Baleno RS. The model was first revealed before auto aficionados at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show before it debuted in India at the 2016 Auto Expo. Having generated curiosity among the performance enthusiasts, Baleno RS will finally break cover on March 3, 2017.
Maruti Baleno RS Price in India
|Minimum||Rs 8.5 lakh|
|Maximum||Rs 9 lakh|
The regular Baleno is available from Rs 5.28 lakh to Rs 8.4 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) while its performance derivative is likely to be priced higher. Equipped with the new 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine and new exterior elements, Baleno RS price is estimated to be between Rs 8.5 lakh to Rs 9 lakh.
|Engine||1.0-litre Boosterjet Petrol|
|Transmission||5-speed Manual & 6-speed Automatic|
The highlight of Baleno’s performance derivative is the new 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine set to debut in India with Baleno RS. The three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine makes peak power of 100bhp at 5,500rpm and 150Nm of torque between 1,700rpm to 4,500rpm. For transmitting power it will use the conventional 5-speed manual unit and there could be an optional auto box as well.
Maruti is likely to use the Boosterjet engine in other models in the line-up, as for the Baleno RS, the turbo unit has been detuned for greater performance and drive. Interestingly, the same engine on the global model delivers higher power and torque at 110bhp and 175Nm. Read – Upcoming Maruti Suzuki Cars in India
Aiding performance, the powerful 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine is claimed to be frugal in nature and is estimated to return higher mileage than regular Baleno. Setting new benchmark in the segment, the estimated mileage for Maruti’s hot hatch is rated between 20 to 21kmpl. Read Our Review – Maruti Vitara Brezza – Should You Buy it?
Based on Baleno Alpha variant, it will inherit most of the features from the former. In addition, it will also equip sporty alloy wheels and will be available with a new black colour. The in-cabin tech will include automatic air-conditioner, multi-functional steering wheel and SmartPlay Infotainment system. In terms of safety, the hot hatch will pack tyre pressure monitoring system, side airbags, radar-based brake support and disc units at front & rear.
Classified as a performance driven hatchback, Baleno RS is styled to give a sporty flair. While there are no radical changes, it has received new key elements such as the V-shaped grille, pulled back headlamps, sporty bumper, wider air-intakes and larger fog lamps. The changes made to the exterior styling are in line with Suzuki’s new liquid flow design philosophy. As we move to the side, the car gets new decals and bigger alloys for an enhanced look. Changes made to the rear are in tandem with its sporty character with new LED tail-lamps and chrome elements adding to the visual appeal.
Giving prominence to safety, Maruti will equip additional provisions over the regular model like the tyre pressure monitoring system, radar-based brake support, side airbags and disc brakes at front rear axles. Besides the 114mm ground clearance ensures Baleno RS will tackle Indian roads with ease. Weighing 85kgs more than the standard Baleno, the kerb weight of the hot hatch is around 950kgs.
Updates to the cabin will be largely confined to additional equipment. For a sportier appearance, seats will be wrapped with new upholstery and there will be a new steering wheel. The instrument panel will be re-styled in a bid to reinforce the sporty look. Benefitting from the SmartPlay infotainment system with Bluetooth, AppleCarPlay and Navigation, the Baleno RS will borrow comfort goodies from the regular model. Other in-cabin tech such as rear-parking camera & sensors, engine start-stop button, climate control will also be included inside. In terms of space, it will be comfortable, with ample space for five adults and 339-litre of space for storing luggage.
Powered with a 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbo petrol engine, the Baleno RS will become Maruti Suzuki's first-ever hot hatch in the country. With several changes inside and out, the Baleno RS will look lot sportier than the regular version of the hatch.