Ever since Maruti Suzuki showcased the sporty Baleno RS at the 2016 Auto Expo, the car had been much-awaited among the thrill-seeking Baleno enthusiasts. It will be sold via the Nexa range of premium dealerships from the first week of March-2017.
With the Baleno RS, Maruti will slot into the fledgling entry-level hot hatch segment comprising of products like the VW Polo GT TSI and Fiat Punto Abarth – the most powerful car in the segment. The Baleno RS will be only available on the range-topping Alpha trim, and will carry a premium price over its standard counterpart.
The biggest change on the Baleno RS is the introduction of a new 1.0-litre, three-cylinder Boosterjet turbo-petrol engine developing 102 hp and 150 Nm of torque, however, the same motor in international spec makes 112 hp and of 175 Nm of torque. That said, the Baleno RS will still be Maruti’s most powerful hatchback when it comes on-sale.
With the new and powerful engine sending power to front wheels, the Baleno RS will continue using the 5-speed manual gearbox from the standard version and no option for an automatic as of now. Rumour also has it that the Baleno RS will be tuned to be more fuel efficient than the Baleno 1.2 petrol.
Weighing a total of 950 kgs, the Baleno RS is heavier than the CVT petrol model that weighs 935 kgs. The extra weight could be partly due to the modifications made under the skin as well as disc brakes at all four corners for better stopping power.
Performance modifications to further improve the Baleno RS’s dynamics include a mesh-pattern grille, sportier front bumper with a wider radiator intake and silver underlining, side skirts, black-painted alloy wheels, roof spoiler and a new rear bumper.
The Baleno RS is no stripped-out race special, but gains a different design for the alloy wheels, faux-leather seats and contrast stitching on the seats and steering wheel, apart from the standard Baleno Alpha’s feature list.
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GALLERY: Maruti Baleno RS Concept