Maruti Suzuki had showcased the Baleno RS Concept at the Auto Expo 2016 in Delhi and now finally Maruti’s first modern performance oriented car is slated to debut on March 3. Maruti’s first real hot-hatch will also see the debut of the 1.0-litre BoosterJet turbocharged petrol engine in India.
The 998cc three cylinder turbo-petrol develops 100bhp of power at 5500rpm and 150Nm of torque starting from 1700rpm. While the engine makes 110bhp internationally, it has been slightly detuned for Indian conditions. Nonetheless, The Baleno RS will be no slouch at all thanks to its low kerb weight. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox that drives the front wheels but expect an AT transmission as well. The Baleno is the first Maruti hatchback to get all-four disc brakes to add the required stopping power.
The Baleno RS gets a body kit as well as new alloy wheels. The cabin will be fully loaded with features like touchscreen infotainment system, climate control, automatic projector headlamps and wipers, electro chromatic mirrors, keyless entry and possibly leather seats. The RS might also have a new interior shade that is currently not offered with the standard car. Dual front airbags and ABS with EBD will be a standard item in the feature list.
The Baleno RS might come only on the top-spec Alpha trim and with the added equipment and the new engine, the price can be expected to be about Rs 1 lakh more than the standard car. We expect a price tag a tad above Rs 8 lakh for the Baleno RS Alpha.`