Maruti Suzuki, India's largest car-maker is inching closer to the launch of its first hot hatch model, Baleno RS. The go-faster version of Baleno has been confirmed for market entry on March 3. It will be sold via Nexa premium dealership chain in the country.
Maruti Suzuki had showcased Baleno RS as a concept version at Auto Expo 2016 and it gauged positive response. After the Expo, bits and pieces of information on Baleno RS emerged online adding a lot of expectations as well as confusion. Recently Baleno's alleged specification sheet was leaked online. One of the intrinsic questions is what is the difference between Baleno and Baleno RS. We have compiled a list between the two to give you a better idea.
The basic design and silhouette of Baleno and Baleno RS remains the same. Baleno RS being a sporty version, Maruti Suzuki has added a styling kit. The kit includes tweaked front and rear bumper with sportier stance, mesh type front grille and side skirts. The rear bumper will feature dual-tone scheme and faux diffuser. One of the most striking features of Baleno RS will be diamond cut alloy wheels in dark shade.
Baleno and Baleno RS will share identical interior layout. The RS version will boast of all black interior. It is also rumoured to get flat-bottom steering wheel and RS badging on the seat covers. The upholstery will have contrast stitching complementing sporty theme of exterior.
Engine and transmission
What makes the regular Baleno significantly different from Baleno RS is the power-station. Baleno is offered in 1.2-litre petrol and 1.2-litre diesel mill. On the other hand, Baleno RS will be powered by 1.0-litre BoosterJet engine. This is the first turbo-petrol mill in a Maruti Suzuki car. The mill will be mated to a five speed manual transmission. According to the leaked spec sheet, the Boosterjet engine will produce 100bhp at 5,500rpm and 150Nm of torque between 1,700 and 4,500rpm. This means Baleno RS gets a power boost by 17bhp and 35Nm of torque over the regular Baleno petrol model.
Baleno RS will be sold only on the top-spec Alpha trim. This means it will come with all the features on regular Baleno Alpha's as standard. This include Bi-xenon automatic headlamps with LED DRLs, reverse camera and parking sensors, electric adjust and folding wing mirrors with indicators and 7-inch touchscreen SmartPlay entertainment system with navigation.
Baleno RS will boast of disc brakes on all four wheels. Other than Baleno RS, Fiat Abarth Punto will be the only affordable hatchback in the country to be equipped with all-wheel disc brakes. Regular Baleno variants are offered with disc brakes for front wheels and drum brakes for rear wheels. Baleno RS will also flaunt ABS and dual airbag as standard.
The Baleno petrol variant prices start at Rs 5.28 lakh and go up to 7.65 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. On the other hand, Baleno RS is expected to be priced in the range of Rs 8.5 lakh to Rs 9.5 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi.