Baleno RS launch in February; only manual transmission to be offered
The 1.0-litre BoosterJet engine makes its Indian debut in the performance hatchback.
The performance-spec Baleno RS will be the Baleno’s first major update since it was launched back in October 2015. While test mule spy shots have confirmed that it will get all-wheel disc brakes, we’ve just got our hands on some more information about Maruti’s hot hatch from a company source:
-The Baleno RS will be launched in February and will only be offered in the Alpha variant.
-The car is being benchmarked against the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI, but will be marginally lower on power. The Baleno RS’ 1.0-litre, three-cylinder BoosterJet turbo petrol engine is expected to produce around 102PS and 150Nm of torque, but the car itself will most likely be lighter than the VW.
-Unlike the Polo GT TSI, it will only be offered with a manual transmission.
-Cosmetically, the car will get a different set of bumpers and new alloy wheels, but no new colour options.
-It will get the same 195/55-section Apollo Alnac 4G tyres as the standard Baleno, which, incidentally, are the same ones that are used in the Abarth Punto.
Other changes could include an ‘RS’ badge on the rear hatch and some variant-specific stitching on the steering wheel, gear knob and seat upholstery.
Expect Maruti Suzuki to price the Baleno RS around the Rs 8 lakh mark / around Rs 80k-1 lakh more than the top-end Baleno 1.2-litre petrol. Like the standard car, the RS will be retailed through the Nexa premium dealer network, alongside the S-Cross and all-new Ignis.