The Maruti Baleno in its normal avatar sold like hot cakes and gave stiff competition to the Elite i20 and Honda Jazz. Already a sales chart topper, Maruti still wants to give this lemon a one last squeeze and wants some more juice from the car. As some of you might know already that Baleno RS is a performance version of the car and has much better performance figures.
This should not be confused with RS variant of the Ciaz which does not offer any performance benefits, the RS version of the Baleno promises a lot of fun. So what makes it worth the wait?
And you thought that Baleno is fast?
Just like the Baleno, Baleno RS is very light on its feet and due to the weight less than 1000kgs, it offers better power-to-weight ratio figures in comparison to the others. It’s much better than the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI which weighs almost 160kgs more and produces almost identical power and torque figures. The Baleno RS weighs about 60kgs more than the Baleno and produces about 18 more horses and about 150Nm of torque (Baleno produces 115Nm). In a performance test that was done by Overdrive, the Baleno was in the third place, second only to Punto Abarth and Polo GT TSI, which are way too heavy. So in theory, Baleno RS should now be the best performance hatch in the country.
Compare the prices to competitors
The most powerful hatch i.e. the Abarth Punto costs around Rs 10 Lakh and it does offer great performance figures too. However, the Baleno RS is priced at Rs 8.7 Lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), and it makes it a great buy and is a much better alternative if you are looking for performance hatch.
The most fuel efficient car of its category
Typical turbo petrol motors gain efficiency by taking advantage of a turbo and by burning more fuel in smaller capacity engines. The Baleno petrol is already the most fuel-efficient car of its segment and it claims ARAI mileage figure of 21.4kmpl. The Baleno RS is equipped with a three cylinder 1.0 litre turbo motor and that burns more fuel than a 1.0 litre normally aspirated motor, but it’s still as good as the 1.2 litre unit if not better and promises an efficiency of 21.1kmpl.
Feature list and looks
The Baleno RS offers the same set of alloy wheels albeit black, and slightly redesigned bumper at the front and back along with black colour scheme and redesigned grille. The Baleno RS has an expansive equipment list as standard as with the Baleno and you get features that include reverse parking camera and sensors, rear defogger, automatic headlamps, keyless entry, projector headlamps with DRLs, electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMs, Start / Stop button, Navigation system etc.
Better stopping power
The Baleno RS also offers disc brakes all around as standard unlike the Baleno which offers them only at the front. That gives it better stopping power and smaller stopping distances. The ABS and EBD are a standard affair as they are in the case of Baleno.