Unveiled at the Auto Expo 2016.
The hot hatch segment in India is witnessing a slow growth, fueled by the success of products like the VW Polo GT TSI and TDI. Fiat too joined the bandwagon with the Fiat Punto Abarth, while Maruti has unveiled their contender in the segment - the Maruti Baleno RS.
Here are five things we know about the Maruti Baleno RS.
1. Festive season launch confirmed
Maruti has confirmed that the sportier Baleno RS will go on sale during the festive season of 2016. It will rival the VW Polo GT, Fiat Punto Abarth and Ford Figo 1.5 Ti-VCT when launched.
2. Exterior styling
As seen in the near-production concept model at the Auto Expo 2016, the Maruti Baleno RS features restyled bumpers, black license plate enclosure, unique alloy wheels, silver accents outlining the bumper and side skirts, wind deflectors and a honeycomb grille layout. These design highlights will set the RS apart from the regular Baleno.
3. Confirmed to get Boosterjet engine for India
Powering the Baleno RS is a 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injected Boosterjet petrol engine, for which Maruti have not disclosed any power or torque figures. It may be smaller than the 1.2-liter K12 engine in the petrol variant, but the European version of the regular Baleno with this engine develops 110 hp and 170 Nm of torque, thanks to turbocharging.
4. Interior is identical to the standard Baleno
Unlike the exterior, the interior appears to be identical to the standard model sold today, save for exclusive leather seat covers and carpets. It will be equipped with a reverse camera, automatic climate control, smart entry with push button start, a 7-inch touchscreen SmartPlay entertainment system with Apple CarPlay, and steering-mounted audio and phone controls.
5. Sales will continue from NEXA
Maruti has confirmed that sales of the Baleno RS will exclusively continue from the premium NEXA dealerships across India. The NEXA outlets currently retail the Baleno and S-Cross models, and this year will see the addition of the Ignis too.