The whole country is vying for more power, and so are the cars.
Maruti Suzuki is launching a hot-headed Baleno RS, the sporty version of the premium hatchback on Friday. The car will feature a one-litre Boosterjet engine which the company claims would “punch far above its weight to deliver amazing power and road speed”.
Here are five things to know about the upcoming new car:
1) Maruti Suzuki first launched Baleno in October 2015, and continues to sell an average 8,600 units from the Nexa showrooms every month, the best seller among the automaker’s premium models.
It was the first car to have been exported from India to Japan.
The Baleno RS Concept was first showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo in February 2016. The concept was an upgrade of the production model, with a large chrome honeycomb grille, Bi-Xenon LED headlamps and beefed-up bumpers. While the Baleno RS would remain as long (3995mm) and wide (1745mm) as the Baleno, it will be 10mm taller at 1510mm.
2) The RS looks almost the same as the standard version until you have a closer look. The front gets more aggressive: The bumper has larger inta ke and as a dark mesh replaces the standard grille, the face of the BalenoRS gets more serious.
The rear spoiler has also been blackened, but the exhaust tip is not exposed... in a sports version car.
Unlike the silver or grey alloy wheels on the standard version, the Baleno RS sports a set of glossy black alloy wheels.
3) The USP of the Baleno RS would be its powerhouse – a 1.0 Boosterjet engine, a newly developed direct-injection turbo petrol engine by Suzuki Motor Corp in Japan for international markets.
The 998-cc, three cylinder engine will be mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, though there’s no word on the automatic variant yet.
The Boosterjet engine generates 112PS of power. However, the sportier Baleno in India will be tuned down to deliver 103PS of power and 150Nm of torque. The present Baleno borrows the two variants of its engines from the Swift:
1.2 litre K-Series petrol | 85PS power @ 6000 rpm | 115Nm of torque @ 4000 rpm
1.3-litre DDiS diesel | 75PS power @ 4000rpm | 190 Nm of torque @ 2000 rpm
That makes the Boosterjet engine stand out: It’s 200cc smaller, but pumps out 27PS more.
4) The Baleno will take on the Volkswagen Polo GT and the Fiat Abarth Punto. While 1.2-litre TSI petrol Polo GT starts at Rs 9.13 lakh, the 1.4-litre T-Jet petrol Abarth Punto comes Rs 9.98 lakh onwards.
5) Maruti Suzuki has been on top of its game with aggressive pricing, be it the Vitara Brezza or the Ignis.
Since the Baleno RS may be available only in the top trim, Alpha, expect this hot hatch to come at around Rs 8.5 lakh.
Maruti Suzuki has already opened its calendar for this year with Ignis, 4,830 of which have been sold within three of its launch. Facelifts of S-Cross and Ciaz are also in works for launch around mid-2017.
Watch out this space and follow @htTweets for all the latest updates from the launch of Baleno RS.