Baleno RS, the Performance spec version of the hatchback is likely to adorn Nexa dealerships sometime in February next year. After production restraint and heavy production demand of standard Baleno and Vitara Brezza, the RS Baleno was pushed to next year from its initial launch of this festive season. Baleno RS is Maruti’s first hot hatch which will take on the powerhouses like Volkswagen Polo GT and Abarth Punto.
It will be also the first hatch after Abarth Punto to be loaded with all four disc brakes. One of the most talking points has been the inclusion of new engine i.e. 1.0 litre Boosterjet turbo petrol engine that makes 110bhp power and max torque of 170Nm and it will be mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox only. No automatic transmission will be offered as on its international sibling.
On the design front, it will be similar to standard Baleno though RS version will be exclusively available in new Black colour. The Baleno RS will be based on top spec Alpha grade so it will be feature loaded with Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights, 7 inch Smartplay infotainment system with apple car play, Android auto and navigation.
To further justify the premium tag, RS also features reverse parking camera, rain sensing wiper, electrically adjustable rear view mirrors, car parking sensor, dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, automatic climate control, MID colour display, start/stop button etc. It is expected to be priced between Rs. 8 lakh to 9.2 lakh (ex-showroom). The regular Baleno has roar passed the 1 lakh sales mark and crosses 11k units a month mark in November 2016 for the first time.