The Maruti Baleno RS has been discontinued and it won’t be making a comeback, as a BS-VI upgrade is not planned for it due to poor demand. Unsold stocks should still be available at select dealerships, though.
Being withdrawn from the market in less than three years, the Maruti Baleno RS was a short-lived stunt from Maruti Suzuki. The performance hatchback never clicked the market the way the company had intended, for it was too expensive and unable to significantly differentiate itself from the regular car for the premium it was levied with.
At launch in March 2017, the Maruti Baleno RS was priced at INR 8.69 lakh*. In January 2019, it was introduced in a facelifted avatar and at that time its price was INR 8.76 lakh*. In September 2019, its price was slashed to INR 7.89 lakh* to start clearing its stock well before March 2020.
On the styling front, the Maruti Baleno RS is differentiated from the Maruti Baleno with a sporty mesh grille, muscular front bumper, wraparound fog lamp garnish, underbody spoilers and an all-black interior.
Under the hood, there’s the K10C 1.0L Boosterjet direct injection turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine linked to a 5-speed manual transmission. Exclusive to the RS variant and imported from Japan, the Boosterjet engine produces 75 kW (101.97 PS) at 5,500 rpm and 150 Nm of torque at 1,700-4,500 rpm. The fuel economy rating (ARAI) is 21.1 km/l.
The RS variant isn’t all that exciting to drive as one would hope from a performance-focused car. That’s not surprising, though, as internationally this mechanical configuration is a regular one and isn’t marketed as a performance-focused one. Maruti Suzuki had to pitch it that way probably because it was too expensive for our market. The VW Polo GT TSI remains the preferred choice in this segment even though being very old.