Maruti has just launched the facelifted, 2019 Baleno hatchback in India. Through the facelift, the Baleno has gotten sharper in terms of looks, and has more features than before. The sharper front end of the facelifted model has inspired renderers to give the Baleno the ‘race-spec’ treatment. Here’s what a race-spec Maruti Baleno could look like.
Obviously, this is just a work of imagination, and Maruti Suzuki has no plans whatsoever to build a race-spec version of the Baleno. The closest that Maruti Suzuki has come to building a sporty version of the Baleno is the RS version. Equipped with a 1 liter-3 cylinder BoosterJet turbocharged petrol engine, the Baleno RS is the most powerful version of the car currently on sale in India. The motor makes 101 Bhp of peak power and 150 Nm of peak torque. It’s paired to a five speed manual gearbox that drives the front wheels.
The Maruti Baleno RS gets disc brakes on all four wheels and stiffened suspension for a sportier drive than the regular Baleno. The super light weight of the car – at 950 kilograms – gives it a power-to-weight ratio of over 100 Bhp/ton. This gives the Baleno RS a grat acceleration timing, with the 0-100 Kph sprint coming in just under 10 seconds.
The Balemo RS is priced much higher than the regular version, with prices starting from Rs. 8.76 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi. The Baleno RS is available only in the top-end Alpha trim, which means that it’s a feature loaded car. Twin airbags, ABS, automatic climate control, a touchscreen infotainment unit with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, tilt and telescopic steering, push button start, keyless entry, reverse parking camera, automatic headlamps, power foldable wing mirrors and LED headlamps are among the key features that are standard on the Baleno RS.
If you want something like the Maruti Baleno RS but don’t have a budget to match, the Tata Tiago JTP is a great alternative. The car is priced at Rs. 6.39 lakhs, which makes it a lot cheaper than the Baleno RS. And guess what, it’s a lot more powerful too.
The Tiago JTP uses a 1.2 liter-3 cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that puts out 112 Bhp of peak power and 150 Nm of peak torque. The Tiago JTP gets a close ratio gearbox for better acceleration, and claimed numbers (0-100 Kph in 10 seconds) make it slightly slower than the lighter Baleno RS.
The Tiago JTP gets stiffer suspension and also sits lower than the stock model. This gives the car better grip levels while cornering hard. However, Tata Motors has not equipped the Tiago JTP with disc brakes on the rear wheels. However, ABS+EBD is standard, and so are twin airbags. While the Baleno RS is available at all Maruti dealerships across India, the Tiago JTP is sold only through select Tata dealerships around the country. Tata Motors also offers the Tigor in JTP trim. The car is a compact sedan that’s based on the Tiago, and gets the same engine and gearbox combination as the Tiago JTP. However, it’s slightly more pricier, with prices starting from Rs. 7.49 lakhs.