Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS: All you need to knowOctober 10, 2016
In India, the Baleno RS is going to be most powerful and mechanically advanced hatchback ever offered by the country’s largest passenger automaker, Maruti Suzuki. It will debut the Japanese automaker’s first-ever turbocharged family of petrol engines – Boosterjet – in the country. It is most likely to be launched before the end of this year. Here’s what the go-fast version of the Baleno has to offer, which has generated so much anticipation since its Indian introduction as a concept at this year’s Indian Auto Expo in February.
The Baleno RS will be powered by the debutant engine of the Boosterjet family – the 1.0-litre Boosterjet – which puts out 111PS of power and 170Nm of torque. It is likely to come solely mated to a 5-speed manual. Though it is available as an option in the stock India-made Baleno globally, it will be marketed as the performance-oriented version of the hatchback aka the ‘Baleno RS’ in the country.
The Baleno RS will go up against the likes of the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and the Abarth Punto. If you speak about the figures, the Abarth Punto is the quickest here, clocking the 0-100kmph sprint in 8.8 seconds. The European version of the Baleno powered by the 1.0-litre Boosterjet motor clocks 0-100kmph in around 11 seconds. However, the Indian stock version is lighter than its relative European model, so the ‘RS’ variant is likely to be lighter than its European counterpart as well. So it might end up matching the GT TSI’s figure of somewhere around 10 seconds for 0-100kmph.
A fast car needs better brakes, and Maruti Suzuki has taken care of it. The Baleno RS will be the second hatchback in its segment to come with all-around disc brakes, after the Abarth Punto.
Judging by the concept Maruti Suzuki revealed at the 2016 India Auto Expo, the automaker is likely to go subtle – like its rival Volkswagen – with the production-spec Baleno RS, by adding sportier body skirts. Fiat, on the other hand, has quite literally gone bonkers with the Abarth Punto’s styling. The Abarth Punto offers pop colour highlights and Abarth’s Scorpion decals.
Also, the test mules of the Baleno RS were spotted in the ‘midnight black pearl’ shade, which is not available in the stock Baleno as of now. Maruti might be saving this colour for the RS version of the hatchback.
The sportier RS version is most likely to borrow features from the range-topping Alpha variant of the stock Baleno. Since the Baleno already boasts several segment first features, such as the 7-inch touchscreen supporting navigation and Apple CarPlay, UV-cut glasses, bi-xenon headlamps with daytime running LEDs, among others. This being said, Maruti Suzuki might surprise us with sportier leather upholstery with the Baleno RS, which is presently not offered with the Baleno.
The Baleno RS is most likely to undercut its primary rivals similar to its stock variant because India is the sole manufacturing hub of the hatchback, resulting in high localization content. But, at the end of the day, it will all depend on how localized the new 1.0-litre Boosterjet is in the country, and that will play a crucial factor in its pricing.
Courtesy : TOI