Baleno RS details out on Nexa website
Maruti Suzuki is all set to launch the Baleno RS on March 3; however, the carmaker has already started accepting bookings for the turbocharged petrol hatch on the Nexa website. Signup and pay an amount of Rs 11,000 and you could be one of the early birds to drive the hot hatch.
But more importantly, the details have surfaced and we can’t wait to get our hands on the RS as the prospects look yummy. The Baleno RS will be powered by Maruti’s in-house Boosterjet engine that uses a variable geometry turbo to squeeze maximum power from a tiny 3-cylinder, 998cc lump. At 100.5bhp and 150Nm, the RS seems to be promising, at least on paper. At 950kg, it is heavier than even the Baleno CVT variant by 15kg; but lighter than its ultimate rivals, the Polo GT TSI and Abarth Punto by over 150kg. Comparing the power/weight ratio, Polo GT TSI makes 93bhp/tonne while the Baleno RS makes a hefty 106bhp/tonne, thanks to its lightweight structure. Unfortunately, Fiat India has not divulged the kerb weight of the Abarth Punto, but as per our estimate, it should make over 124bhp/tonne. Drag race on the cards then?
Cosmetically, there are subtle changes on the outside to make the RS variant stand out from the regular Baleno. The front bumper gets larger air vents while the grille too gets rid of the chrome elements and gets a black theme. Even the rear bumper follows the same design language. Another notable difference is the 16-inch black alloys that really stand out from the rest of the package. Maruti has not revealed much about the mechanicals as of yet, but the Baleno RS includes an all-disc setup which should improve the braking significantly.
Maruti Suzuki is India’s largest carmaker and has been focusing on the masses since its inception. But with the Baleno RS, the carmaker has taken an all-new initiative to cater to the growing enthusiast base in the country. Although the prices have not been revealed yet, we can’t wait to watch how it changes the dynamics of the performance car market.