Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RSMaruti Suzuki

It looks like the launch date of the Baleno RS, the powerful variant of the premium hatchback Baleno has almost been confirmed as the emerging reports on the web suggest that the much-awaited model from Maruti Suzuki will be launched in early 2017.

The Baleno RS, the Boosterjet engine concept, which was showcased at the Auto Expo 2016, was expected to come to the market in the festive season this year. However, it is being said that Maruti Suzuki is not able to make it for this year as the company is looking to clear the backlog for the Vitara Brezza compact SUV and the Baleno premium hatchback. Maruti has reportedly also differed the launch of the highly- anticipated Ignis compact crossover due to the same.

If the emerging reports are anything to go by, the Baleno RS, which is currently said to be in its testing phase in the country, will go on sale in the country in early 2017. The Ignis is also rumoured to be launched around the same time.

From what we have known so far, the Baleno RS would feature Bi-xenon automatic headlamps with LED DRLs, electrically adjustable wing mirrors, side skirts and new diamond cut alloy wheels along with sportier front and rear bumpers. As far as the features are concerned, the Baleno RS is expected to include reverse camera, automatic climate control and 7-inch touchscreen SmartPlay entertainment system with Apple CarPlay, dual airbags and ABS, rain-sensing wipers.

The Baleno RS is expected to come packed with 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine, which would churn out close to 110bhp of power and 170Nm of peak torque. It will be either mated to five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Reports indicate that the automatic transmission option will also come with paddle shifters.

When launched, the Baleno RS will be pitted against Fiat Abarth Punto, Ford Figo 1.5-litre petrol and Volkswagen Polo GT TSI in India. The Boosterjet engine variant of the Baleno will be priced higher than the existing model and will be sold through Maruti Suzuki Nexa premium dealerships.