Maruti Suzuki's Baleno premium hatchback ticked all the right boxes following its launch in India and its phenomenal success in the domestic market is a testimony to that fact. But it is not all that rosy when it comes to its sporty version, the Baleno RS.
If the emerging reports are to be believed, Baleno RS, a performance version of the Baleno hatchback has not been able to replicate the success of its regular model and has contributed a meager 10 percent of the total sales of Baleno range.
A report of ET Auto, quoting CV Raman, senior executive director (engineering) of Maruti Suzuki, indicates that the sales of the Baleno RS are hovering in the range of 900-1,000 units per month, which is way far behind the regular Baleno.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno has been logging over 15,000 sales per month on an average since its launch in the country and the waiting period has been on the rise due to an ever-growing demand. However, given that it caters to niche-segment, the sales of Baleno RS are not all that bad.
The go-faster version of the Baleno comes with the 1.0-litre BoosterJet engine. It was launched in the country in 2017. The 1.0-litre BoosterJet engine churns out 100bhp at 5,500rpm and 150Nm of torque at 1,700 to 4,500rpm. This is the first Maruti Suzuki model to get a turbo-petrol engine in India. The mill is mated to a five-speed manual transmission. It claims to offer an impressive 21.1kmpl of fuel efficiency despite it being a performance model.
On the other hand, the regular version comes with a 1.2-litre K-Series petrol engine or a 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine. While the petrol engine is tuned to develop 83bhp and 115Nm of torque, the diesel mill churns out 74bhp and 190Nm of torque.
Since the Baleno RS is a performance-driven vehicle, it could be facing low acceptability and reports indicate that this has been the case with other such models in India as well. The Baleno RS was Maruti Suzuki's first offering in the hot-hatch segment and the company is expected to expand its portfolio with the Swift Sport.
Both the Baleno and the Baleno RS are sold through the Nexa premium dealerships of Maruti Suzuki. The Baleno remains the mainstay of Nexa.