After a long year of teasing us, Maruti has finally introduced their hot hatchback, the Baleno RS in the Indian market. The car will take on the likes of the VW Polo GT TSi and even the Fiat Punto Abarth.
Pricing and variant details:
The RS will be on offer in a single variant that is priced at Rs 8.69 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi. The car’s cheaper than the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI (9.2 lakhs) and the Fiat Punto Abarth (9.99 lakhs).
What makes it special
The main highlight of the RS is what is under its hood. The RS is powered by an all-new 1.0 liter Boosterjet engine. The engine is based on the K10 3-cylinder unit and has been turbocharged. Power output is 100 Bhp and 150 Nm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.
The engine has been detuned for India due to the poor fuel quality that we have. Being a performance version, the vehicle is fitted with all 4 disc brakes (14 inch front and 13 inch rear discs), something that is only on offer on the more expensive Abarth Punto. The vehicle weights 950 kgs, which is about 60 kgs more than the regular Baleno petrol. The suspension has been re-tuned to cope with the higher weight, and deliver crisper handling.
In terms of power to weight the Baleno RS owns the Polo GT TSi, which weighs roughly 200 Kgs more than the RS. It has a ratio of 106 Bhp/tonne as opposed to 95 Bhp/tonne for the Polo GT. In terms of fuel efficiency, the car manages an ARAI-certified mileage of 21.1 Kmpl.
Looks any better?
The RS does look different when compared to the regular Baleno. It has a new chrome grill, a new front bumper, side skirts, and a new rear bumper. The alloy wheels are the same design as that on the current vehicle, but it will be finished in black instead. The RS will come with the same 16″ rims that the Baleno gets already. The RS will get the same 7 exterior colour options that the normal Baleno has.
Like the normal Baleno, the RS version also comes loaded with all the bells and whistles. It gets LED DRLs, bi-xenon headlamps, LED tail lamps, touch screen system with Apple Car play, navigation, rear camera and parking sensors and electrically folding mirrors. Like all Nexa products, this one too will come with dual airbags and ABS as standard, something that is needed given this is a hot hatch.
Why is this model special
This, the RS will be the first turbo petrol car that Maruti has ever introduced in the Indian market. In addition to this, it will be the most powerful hatchback that the company has ever launched. Globally, you do have the Swift Sport, however that never made it to India making this the most powerful Maruti hatchback.
The RS takes on the likes of the Polo GT twins and the Punto Abarth. We shall be driving the new Baleno RS tomorrow and will be able to give you a better head-to-head comparison then.