Maruti Suzuki is the largest car manufacturer in the country with variety of products in their portfolio. As the competition and trends are changing, they are working on new products. One such upcoming product was recently spotted testing on our roads. Maruti Suzuki Baleno’s Strong Hybrid version was spotted testing on our roads recently. Earlier this year, at the Auto Expo, Maruti Suzuki had shared their plans for India and Strong Hybrid vehicles were part of the plan. The test vehicle spotted on the road indicates that Baleno is probably going to be the first vehicle in Maruti’s stable to get a strong hybrid system in India.
The images have been shared by Shifting Gears on their website. The premium hatchback competes with cars like recently launched Hyundai i20, Tata Altroz, Volkswagen Polo and Honda Jazz in the segment. From the pictures, the hatchback looks all normal but, when it comes to the rear wheel, we see strain gauge apparatus. It looks like the the upcoming Baleno is going to get the Strong Hybrid system or simply full hybrid system. If this is the case, then Baleno would be the first car in the segment to get a proper hybrid system.
The current version also offers a mild hybrid system but, that just acts as a torque assistant at lower RPMs and also helps in boosting the fuel economy. If Maruti launches the Strong Hybrid or fully hybrid system in Baleno, the electric motor will be able to generate enough power to drive the vehicle for a very short range. Unlike plug-in hybrid vehicles, there is no need to recharge the batteries in a Strong Hybrid vehicle. The Baleno Hybrid will work just like the normal smart hybrid system. The batteries will be recharged using the power that is generated while the car is driven around.
Looking at the picture, it looks like the petrol engine will continue to power the front wheels of the Baleno whereas the rear wheels would get an electric motor in the hub. This means it will be using a more powerful motor which can easily generate enough power to drive the car for around 25-30 kms. For a country like ours, Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid system makes more sense because our recharging infrastructure is still developing. Baleno Strong Hybrid system will also boost the fuel economy of Baleno by a lot.
Earlier this year at the expo, Maruti had shown us the full hybrid version of their Swift hatchback (there are no plans to launch Swift Hybrid as of now). It was powered by the same 1.2 litre naturally aspirated petrol engine along with an electric motor. The Hybrid system is so effective that the Swift Hybrid returned fuel economy of 32 kmpl which is almost 10 kmpl more than the regular petrol version. A similar effect is expected to be seen on Baleno as well.
Maruti Suzuki has been doing a lot in order to reduce the level of pollutions in the country. It was the first car manufacturer in the country to offer a factory fitted CNG kit on their vehicle. They now have a range of vehicles that are offered with the S-CNG kits. Similarly, they are also offering the Smart Hybrid system which provides enough torque at lower RPMs and also helps boost the fuel economy. Baleno will continue to draw its power from the BS6 compliant 1.2 litre, 4 cylinder petrol engine that generates 83 Bhp and 115 Nm of torque.