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 that the soon-to-be-launched Baleno RS is a performance version of the car.
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?
We already know that Baleno is very light on its feet due to the better power-to-weight ratio figures in comparison to the others. It’s much better than the Elite i20 which weighs almost 180kgs more and produces almost identical power and torque figures. The Baleno RS would weigh almost the same as Baleno and would actually produce about 25 more horses and about 160Nm of torque (Baleno produces 115Nm). In a recent 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 go on to become 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. The Baleno RS is expected to cost about Rs 1 Lakh more than its respective Baleno variant and is therefore expected to be much better in terms of value for money than most of its competitors. Prices for Baleno base model start at around Rs 5.15 Lakh and goes upto Rs 7 Lakh, therefore, the showroom price is expected to be much less than Rs 10 Lakh for the top variant.
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 would be equipped with a three cylinder 1.0 litre turbo motor and would burn more fuel than a 1.0 litre normally aspirated motor, but it’s expected to be less than the 1.2 litre unit. Therefore, it would gain some efficiency too. Expect it to be around 23kmpl.
Feature list and looks
The Baleno RS would offer new set of alloy wheels, and slightly redesigned bumper at the front and back along with black colour scheme. The Baleno already has an expansive equipment list as standard. The Baleno RS is expected to offer all of it which includes rain-sensing wipers, IRVMs, reverse parking camera and sensors, rear defogger, automatic headlamps, keyless entry, projector headlamps with DRLs, electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMs etc.
Better stopping power
As seen in case of the test mule, the Baleno RS is expected to offer disc brakes all around as standard unlike the Baleno which offers them only at the front. That should give it better stopping power and smaller stopping distances. The ABS and EBD are expected to remain as standard too as they are in the case of Baleno.