India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki launched the Baleno premium hatchback in October 2015. The car received an overwhelming response in terms of bookings and sales in the following months. Buoyed by the response, Maruti Suzuki showcased the Baleno RS concept at Auto Expo 2016 in February. The company also confirmed launch of its production version during this festive season.
After the Expo, bits and piece information on the Baleno RS emerged online adding lot of expectations as well as confusion. What is the difference between Baleno and Baleno RS is the prominent question that was raised post-show. We have compiled all the available information on both vehicles to give a better idea on each model.
Baleno RS is extracted out of Baleno. Hence, the basic silhouette of the Baleno RS is identical to Baleno. However, certain exterior as well as interior bits gives Baleno RS a separate identity. The Baleno RS will feature a body kit that include tweaked front and rear bumper, mesh front grille and side skirts. The rear bumper will feature dual-tone scheme with faux diffusers. Additionally, it will get new diamond cut alloy wheels in dark shade. In essence, the Baleno RS will be jazzed up version of the regular Baleno in terms of looks.
The basic interior layout of the Baleno RS will be identical to the regular Baleno. The RS version is expected to sport all black layout that will be complemented with contrast stitching seat upholstery.
Baleno RS will boast of bi-xenon projector headlamps, auto headlamps and wipers, reverse camera, automatic climate control and 7-inch touchscreen SmartPlay entertainment system with Apple CarPlay. The RS version may also get tyre pressure monitoring system over the regular Baleno variants.
Engine and transmission
Biggest change between Baleno RS and Baleno lies under the hood. The Baleno is offered 1.2-litre petrol engine that develops 83bhp and 115Nm of torque mated to five speed manual transmission. The regular model is also sold with 1.2-litre diesel engine. On the other hand, the Baleno RS will be sold only in turbo-petrol engine. Maruti Suzuki calls the engine as Boosterjet and it is the first turbo petrol engine to be used by the company in any vehicles sold in India. The Boosterjet engine will develop close to 111bhp and 170Nm of peak torque. It will be either mated to five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Reports indicate automatic transmission option will also come with paddle shifters.
Brakes and safety
The regular Baleno variants are offered with disc brakes for front wheels and drum brakes for rear wheels. In the RS version all four wheels will get disc brakes. Apart from the Abarth Punto, this will be the only affordable hatchback in the country to be equipped with all-wheel disc brakes. Similar to the Baleno, the Baleno RS will also come with ABS and dual airbag as standard.
The Baleno comes with a claimed fuel efficiency of 21.4kmpl. Downsized engine in Baleno RS means the go-faster version will be more fuel efficient than the regular version.
Baleno petrol variants have been priced in the range of Rs. 5.25 lakh to Rs. 7.57 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. The Baleno RS is expected to be pricier than the Baleno petrol at around Rs. 8.5 lakh.