“Power and more power!”
If that’s what you asked for while driving the Baleno, here’s your answer: The Baleno RS.
Maruti Suzuki launched a hot-headed Baleno RS on Friday at Rs 8.69 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi). The car has been pit against the likes of Volkswagen Polo GT, starting at Rs 9.13 lakh and the Fiat Abarth Punto which starts at Rs 9.98 lakh.
But how is the new sporty version different from the premium hatchback in town?
Well, the USP is its one-litre Boosterjet engine which the company claims would “punch far above its weight to deliver amazing power and road speed”. Developed by Suzuki Motor Corp in Japan, the direct-injection turbo petrol engine is 200cc smaller, but delivers 103PS of power and 150Nm of torque. That’s 27PS more power than the present Baleno you drive.
The Boosterjet will be mated a 5-speed manual gearbox, but no automatic in the offering as yet.
You may not so easily recognise the Baleno RS from the standard version, until you see this:
Taking a closer look, the RS has more aggressive face: The bumper gets bigger for larger air intake and a dark mesh replaces the simple grille. This Baleno RS is not smiling, it’s looks serious for racing.
On the rear too, the spoiler has been blackened, but you can’t see the exhaust tip. For a sports version like this, why didn’t they keep it exposed?
The Baleno RS come loaded on a set of glossy black alloy wheels, no silver or grey alloy. The Baleno RS remains as long (3995mm) and wide (1745mm) as the Baleno, but just 10mm taller at 1510mm.
The Baleno RS Concept was first showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo in February 2016, alongside the concept of Ignis, the premium hatchback which the automaker launched in January.
Launched in October 2015, Baleno was crucial for the success of Maruti Suzuki’s ambitious Nexa Experience plan. It was also the first car to have been exported from India to Japan.
Rolling out roughly 8,600 units from Nexa showrooms every month, Baleno continues to be the best seller among the Maruti Suzuki’s “premium models”, which include Ignis and some top-end variants of Vitara Brezza and the Ciaz.
The automaker is also expected to facelift the S-Cross and best-selling sedan Ciaz around mid-2017.