Maruti Baleno RS

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Maruti Suzuki will soon make the Baleno a lot feistier by introducing the hatchback with a turbocharged petrol engine. Unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the 1-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine christened ‘BoosterJet’ will make its India debut at the 2016 Auto Expo.

Exterior

The Baleno with the 1-litre BoosterJet carries the same look as the regular model which means it uses Suzuki’s new liquid flow design philosophy to emphaize its exterior. The front of the car gets a V-shaped grille and sweptback headlamps that reminds us of the Swift. Although the side profile is relatively simple, the rear-end looks pretty bold with LED tail lamps and some splashing of chrome. That being said, this 1-litre turbocharged version could get bigger alloys and some detailing to differentiate it from its naturally aspirated counterpart.

Interior

Like the exterior, the cabin design and the overall layout will remain the same. There will however be slightly revised instrumentations and perhaps different upholstery for a sportier look. If we look at the existing Baleno range, there is plenty of space in the cabin for five passengers, also the boot is large at 339litres. Maruti is offering plenty of features with the Baleno with the top-end model featuring a touch-screen music system with navigation, rear parking camera and sensors, climate control and engine start-stop button.

Engine and Performance

Currently, petrol versions of the Baleno are powered by the 1.2-litre, K-Series VVT engine developing 83bhp and 115Nm of torque. The fuel efficiency of this engine is officially rated at 21.4kmpl while Maruti is offering it with a choice of a 5-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox. The Baleno 1-litre BoosterJet, on the other hand, uses forced induction to dish out 110bhp and 170Nm of torque – numbers that should allow for a noticeable improvement in outright performance.

Competition

The Baleno range competes with the likes of Honda Jazz and Hyundai Elite i20 here in India. The Baleno 1-litre BoosterJet, meanwhile, will compete with the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI as its arch rival.