The Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS is the next launch on cards after a hugely successful Ignis launch. The Baleno RS will be Maruti Suzuki’s first ever performance hatchback for India. As the RS moniker suggests, the car will be more oriented towards performance. the Baleno RS will feature a 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine which will be the most powerful Maruti Suzuki hatchback in the country. The Baleno RS will be sold through Maruti’s Nexa dealerships across the country and should be launched in February 2016. Here’s everything you need to know about the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS.
1-Maruti Suzuki India showcased the Baleno RS first time in the country as a concept at the 2016 Auto Expo. The car was seen alongside Suzuki’s upcoming SUV-styled hatchback – the Ignis. Both the models were expected to be launched in 2016, but the overwhelming demand for Maruti’s existing products pushed the launch to this year.
2-What makes the car worthy of the RS badge is Suzuki’s 1.0 litre BoosterJet engine. The recently leaked specifications reveal three-cylinder, turbo petrol motor however, has been re-tuned for India and churns out 100 bhp of power and 150 Nm of torque. In comparison, the international spec motor makes 112 bhp and of 175 Nm of peak torque. That said, the Baleno RS will still be Maruti’s most powerful hatchback when it goes on sale.
3-With the new and powerful engine under the skin, the soon-to-be launched Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS will be powerful than its closest rival – the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI. The German hot hatch churns out 104 bhp and 175 Nm of torque from a 1.2 litre engine and is paired to a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission.
4-Meanwhile, the Baleno RS will continue using the 5-speed manual gearbox from the standard version and that should certainly be amusing to purists.
5-Maruti Suzuki’s Baleno RS will also compete against other hot hatchbacks currently on sale including the Fiat Abarth Punto and Ford Figo 1.5 litre petrol.
6-Maruti Suzuki India has been putting the car through some extensive testing since the end of 2015. This has been a clear indication from the numerous sightings of the test mules over last year.
7-In terms of appearance the upcoming Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS is likely to look similar to the regular Baleno hatchback. But will come with minor cosmetic tweaks and the RS badging to differentiate it from the regular hatchback.
8-Same goes for the car’s cabin. While the overall layout will remain the same, the Baleno RS is expected to get subtle changes like bucket seats with new upholstery, aluminium finished pedals and much more.
9-Among feature additions, the new Baleno RS is likely to come with SmartPlay infotainment system with Apple CarPlay while the multi-function steering wheel from the standard could have been replaced with a flat-bottom unit.
10-The car will be launched around the festive season, most likely in the month of October and with a price tag in the vicinity of ₹ 8 lakh to ₹ 9.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).