Maruti Suzuki has launched the Baleno RS for the Indian market at Rs 8.69 lakh (Ex-showroom Delhi). This is the performance version of the premium hatchback and will be offered only in the top-of-the-line Alpha trim.
The Baleno RS is the carmaker's most powerful hatchback. It comes powered by a 1.0-litre BoosterJet petrol engine that churns out 100bhp of power and 150Nm of torque. It is available only in the five-speed manual variant.
And it’s not only the powerful engine that makes the Baleno worthy of the RS badge. There are cosmetic revisions to the standard hatchback, which still retains the overall design and features of the regular hatch. There are sporty bumpers, black alloy wheels and a spoiler at the back, pointing at the racy nature of the car. Same is the case with the cabin, as the interior layout remains the same, but gets some additional features like a different upholstery and aluminium finished pedals.
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS competes with the other hot hatchbacks in India like the Fiat Abarth Punto and even the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI. Though the latter is an automatic variant, these are the only few affordable performance hatchbacks available in our country.