Maruti Suzuki launched the Baleno RS (Road Sport for Maruti Suzuki) in India on 3rd March 2017, making their first step into the hot-hatch segment introducing Suzuki Booster jet engines in India. It gets a fairly new design compared to the outgoing model with a host of features that accentuate the sportier look of the vehicle. Aggressively priced at Rs.8.69 lakh (Ex-Showroom, Delhi), the New Baleno RS openly challenges its rivals, Fiat Abarth Punto and Volkswagen Polo GT.
New Baleno RS comes with a newly designed bonnet and grille with chrome surround in grey finish on the front fascia. Skirts of grey chrome run all from the front to both sides keeping it distinct from the existing model. It gets a roof spoiler on the rear and a half spoiler on the tailgate in the middle. The Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED day time running lights and LED tail lights with graphics add elements of sportiness to the All New Baleno RS. Though the alloy wheels are carried over from the model in stock, they are blackened as seen on the newly launched Ignis.
The cabin is sportier too with a completely black profile, but doesn’t have anything new in terms of features to promise than what most present day cars offer. In fact, the 7-inch Suzuki Smart Play touch screen infotainment is compatible only with Apple Car Play and the Android Auto compatibility goes for a miss. Other features include 3-spoke multifunctional steering wheel, keyless entry, automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers, automatic climate control and so on. Although all the smart features are drawn from the existing Baleno, the new cabin looks tad more impressive in design and finish.
Performance and Safety:
On the Baleno RS, Power is derived from a 1.0L three cylinder Booster jet petrol engine that churns 102hp and 150Nm of peak torque while returning a fuel efficiency of 21.1kmpl. The best part is the NVH (Noise/Vibration/Harness) appears minimal in spite of the three-cylinder engine it houses. The 998cc engine comes mated to a five-speed manual gearbox turning the New Baleno RS to be one of the most powerful hatchbacks from Maruti Suzuki in India.
Safety features include disc brakes for all wheels, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), Dual airbags, Seat belt warning etc.