Can Maruti-Suzuki Baleno RS be the most interesting hot hatchback in India?
Maruti-Suzuki Baleno RS is expected to launch during festive season, 2016
The biggest automaker in India, Maruti-Suzuki is expected to launch its first performance oriented hatchback in India during upcoming festive season. The automaker showcased the Baleno RS concept model at the 2016 New Delhi Auto Expo earlier this year. Based on the automaker’s premium hatchback Baleno, the Baleno RS will feature some sporty accessories.
Given the fact that the hot hatch segment in India is flourishing, the Maruti-Suzuki Baleno RS could become a very interesting and a successful model in the country. But, can it take the spot of the top hot hatch in the country? Let’s find out.
MARUTI-SUZUKI’S FIRST HOT HATCH IN INDIA
No wonder the hot hatch segment in Indian automotive market is growing rapidly. Fiat launched its own Abarth Punto Evo. The Volkswagen also geared up to launch its Polo hot hatch in the country, which will be the first three door hatch in the country. Although both the Fiat Abarth Punto Evo and the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI are pretty attractive and impressive in terms of performance and styling. But the Baleno RS’s advantage point will be that it is already a popular car and the model is from the stable of Maruti-Suzuki, the most trusted brand in India. But still, will it be able to hit the jackpot? We will find later.
SPORTY AND STYLISH DESIGN
Talking about the design the Baleno RS will come almost similar with the standard Baleno. The car features sharp and large headlamps with LED daytime running lights integrated. The front fascia also boasts a V shaped motion grille garnished in chrome. The taillamps sport LED units, while at the side profile the car features subtle character lines. Expect the Baleno RS to get a new front grille design, a splitter at the lower fascia, sleeker air intake and a roof spoiler. Additionally the car might come with enhanced aerodynamic efficiency. It might also get a rear diffuser to enhance the appeal.
In terms of design the Baleno RS looks much more appealing than the Fiat unto Evo, while the Volkswagen Polo TSI comes with a sharp and upmarket design.
LESS POWERFUL THAN FIAT ABARTH PUNTO
Maruti-Suzuki Baleno RS will come fitted with a 1.0 litre Boosterjet turbocharged petrol engine paired with a 5 speed manual gearbox. The car will churn out 110 bhp of peak power and 170 Nm of peak torque. It is expected to deliver 16 kmpl of fuel economy. Among the competitors the Fiat Abarth Punto Evo is the most powerful car with a 1.4 litre T-Jet petrol engine mated to a 5 speed manual transmission. It kicks out 145 bhp of peak power and 212 Nm of peak torque, with a fuel economy of 16.3 kmpl. The Volkswagen Polo GT TSI gets a 1.2 litre TSI petrol engine under the hood, paired with a 7 speed DSG automatic gearbox. The Polo GT TSI will churn out 104 bhp of peak power and 175 Nm of peak torque with 17.21 kmpl of fuel economy. So, the Maruti-Suzuki Baleno RS is powerful than the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI, but not than the Fiat Abarth Punto Evo. On the other hand the Polo GT TSI produces more torque, and it comes with an automatic gearbox, which surely gives it an edge.
BALENO RS WOULD BE THE CHEAPEST
Among the three vehicles the Maruti-Suzuki Baleno RS is expected to come as the cheapest with price tags ranging between INR. 8 lakh to INR. 10 lakh. The Fiat Abarth Punto Evo comes with a price tag of INR. 10.23 lakh, while the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI would be bearing a price tag around INR. 20 lakh to INR. 22 lakh.
Maruti-Suzuki Baleno RS is surely an interesting car with an interesting design. The Baleno’s success would make an impact in the sales figure of the Baleno RS. It also carries the Maruti-Suzuki badge which is surely an added advantage. On the power front the car is less powered than the Fiat Abarth Punto, although much powerful than the Polo GT TSI. The interesting fact is despite being the most powerful hot hatch the Punto is not everyone’s thumbs up list, because of its dull design. Now finally comes the pricing. No wonder, being priced around INR. 10 lakh will give the Baleno RS an extra edge, which would help the car to establish itself as a popular model in the segment. So far, we can expect that the Maruti-Suzuki Baleno RS has every potential to become the top hot hatch of India.
Title image: Representational purpose only