Maruti Suzuki has launched the much-awaited Baleno RS in India at a price tag of Rs 8.69 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi. It is a performance-oriented version of the standard Baleno which is offered only in the top-end Alpha variant. Just like the standard Baleno, the Baleno RS will be sold through company's Nexa dealerships in the country and it will have an all-new Boosterjet engine. The Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS has been aggressively priced and competes with the likes of the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and Fiat Abarth Punto.
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS is powered by a new 1.0 litre, three-cylinder, Boosterjet turbocharged petrol engine that produces 100 hp of power at 5,500 rpm and 150 Nm of torque between 1,700 and 4,500 rpm. This engine is paired to a 5-speed manual transmission and currently, the company isn't selling the car with an automatic transmission. The sporty hatchback measures 3,995 mm in length, 1,745 mm in width, 1,510 mm in height and has a wheelbase of 2,520 mm.
The carmaker has given cosmetic changes to the Baleno RS like chrome door handles and front grille, body coloured ORVMs (Outside Rear View Mirrors) as well as bumpers. For a sportier appeal, the Baleno RS is also equipped with a roof spoiler, 16-inch black alloy wheels, blackened-out pillars. The hatchback also gets automatic projector headlamps with LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lamps) and headlamp leveling function as well as LED tail lamps.
The cabin of the new Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS is similar to the standard model. It features illuminated glovebox, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a multi-information speedometer display with multicoloured TFT. The company has offered the Baleno RS with their 'SmartPlay infotainment system' which is compatible with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.This system can also playback audio via AUX and USB.
In terms of safety, the Baleno RS gets dual front airbags, driver-side seat belt reminder, reverse parking sensors, reverse parking camera and ABS (Anti-lock Braking System). Besides this, the Baleno RS is made from TECT (Total Effective Control Technology) which uses high tensile steel. This helps in reducing an overall weight of the vehicle without compromising the structural integrity of the vehicle.
With the launch of the Baleno RS, the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and the Fiat Abarth Punto will have a tough time competing with the latest entry from Maruti Suzuki due to its aggressive price tag.