Maruti Suzuki’s upcoming premium hatchback has been revealed in the form of the all new Suzuki Baleno – a car which made its debut as a concept earlier this year in Geneva. Labelled iK2 previously, Suzuki recently announced that it will sell this model in Europe, next year, as the new Baleno.
Here in India, Maruti Suzuki is expected to launch this vehicle next year with a new identity in the premium hatchback segment.
The new Baleno retains the standard Suzuki fascia but uses a number of modern design touches like the new y-shaped grille and sweptback headlights with daytime running lights. The fascia, in fact, is reminiscent of the Swift hatchback and the old Kizashi.
The side profile is one that is common with most premium hatchbacks. It is characterised by a long and low roofline that ends at a rather steeply raked C-pillar. Looking at the official pictures, the car appears to have a flat stance albeit with muscular wheel arches and a strong base line. Lastly, the minimalistic rear-end features a boot lip spoiler and an impressive looking circular taillight assembly.
The exterior may look vividly different from the current crop of hatchbacks from Suzuki but on the inside, the new Baleno is expected to borrow parts from the brand’s parts bin. We expect to a see a familiar layout for the dashboard and all the bits and pieces. However, this car will have a new instrument panel which is expected to have a rather cool looking blue-back lighting and in higher- spec models a colour display between the gauges. On the feature front, we expect a capacitive touchscreen, 2-DIN music system and drivers aids like ABS+EBD and two airbags at least. Suzuki may even offer rear AC vents for improved comfort levels at the rear.
Engine and gearbox
Globally, the new Baleno will be available with Suzuki’s newly developed 1-litre BOOSTERJET direct injection petrol engine. Armed with a turbocharger, this new petrol engine will be highly fuel efficient while offering a respectable amount of grunt with a claimed output of around 120bhp. Paired to it will be either a five-speed manual gearbox or an AMT on select variants.
For India, Maruti will probably use the Swift’s naturally aspirated, 1.2-litre K-Series, alongside the 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel engine in 90bhp form.
The new Suzuki Baleno will compete with the Volkswagen Polo and Hyundai i20, both in India and overseas. Although here in India, Maruti expectedly will sell it at a competitive price albeit with a new identity. Given its premium placement, this new model, in all probability, will be sold in the brand’s new high-end line of Nexa dealerships.