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Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Overview

Baleno, undoubtedly, is one of the most crucial products for Maruti Suzuki in India. It has emerged as one of the top 10 selling cars in the Indian market. Recently, a new model, namely RS 1.0, has been introduced, which has dynamic design, features and technology, and comes with a brand new Booster-Jet engine. The company has specified that RS 1.0 is for those who want a bit of performance and the look has been changed keeping that part in mind. This new Baleno is all set to worry its rivals because it excels in multiple departments. Check for Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS price in Mumbai.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Look

Let’s talk about the looks first. At first glance, it’s hard to spot the differences vis-a-vis the standard Baleno; the changes are mostly cosmetic and most of them are centred up front. For instance, the Baleno RS gets a mesh treatment to the grill; the redesigned front and rear bumpers have been squeezed and sharpened for a racier look.

The thin side skirts add some flair. The 16-inch alloys are the same as in the standard Baleno but painted in a gorgeous black that really makes the car stand out, especially when contrasted with the Fire Red shade. Topping it all off is the ‘RS’ badge that finds a coveted place at the back of the car.Everything else remains unchanged and you get the same features as you’d find in the top-of-the-line Alpha variant of the Baleno. That includes turn indicators on projector headlamps with LED daytime-running lights, LED taillight cluster, turn indicators on outside mirrors and UV-cut glass.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Comfort

We were seriously expecting the automaker to refresh the interior to go with the sporty nature of car. Some exclusive bits like a RS badge or new upholstery with exquisite Race Sport branding could have brought in some newness to the interior. But the cabin of the Baleno RS is exactly same as the standard hatchback. Which, for that matter, isn’t a bad thing. The all black interior with subtle silver and chrome embellishments was a bold move by Maruti when the norm was to provide beige or dual tone interior. So the cabin continues to look pleasant, be user-friendly, get plenty of storage spaces and practical bits. To know more details on Maruti Baleno RS Check Mpculture

The Baleno’s cabin is roomy, in fact, very spacious for a hatchback. There is enough space for rear passengers even when the front seats have been slid all the way back for tall passengers. The front seats are supportive and comfortable. While the rear seats are comfy too, they perform average when it comes to headroom and thigh support for tall passengers.

Now to the equipment bit. Since this RS Baleno is available only in the top-end Alpha variant, it features Maruti Suzuki’s Smartplay infotainment system. This gets a nice responsive touchscreen with an intuitive software supporting navigation and even Apple CarPlay to appeal to Apple iPhone users. The fancy instrument cluster has been carried over to the RS as well. It boasts of a colour display providing a whole load of information including a funky power/torque delivery display. And since this is a NEXA product, we all know by now that cars from this portfolio are not short of any safety features. So the safety package includes dual airbags, ABS and seat belts with pre-tensioners as standard.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Transmission

Where you really see a change is under the hood, which hosts a new 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder Boosterjet petrol engine that develops 102PS of power and 150Nm of torque. That’s about 18PS and 35Nm more than what you get in the regular Baleno, and that does sound substantial.However, it’s not the same as what you get in the Baleno RS for international markets. That one develops 111PS of power and 170Nm of torque. Maruti says that the Indian-spec engine offers 20 per cent more power and 30 per cent more torque than the 1.2-litre naturally aspirated engine of the standard Baleno. The question is, what do all of these figures translate to?

Depress the clutch pedal, press the starter button and the engine wakes up with a smooth, refined note. Step on the acelerator and you can immediately sense an eagerness with which the car pulls forward. There is lots of punch even when driving at an easy pace, and as the revs rise it feels properly strong. The engine feels eager even as you rev it up to its near-6000rpm redline and that helps make the RS experience ring truer still. At the BIC, we managed to clock a maximum of 160kmph but even at those speeds, the car didn’t feel out of breath.

For the more everyday kind of usage the engine will feel great to use as there is virtually no turbo lag to contend with. Also, you can easily cruise at speeds above 100kmph with the engine feeling relaxed. Losing speed quickly won’t be a problem thanks to the disc brakes on all four wheels. While the Baleno RS feels rock solid at high speeds, the 195/55 section tyres tend to squeal and squirm when taking hard corners and could do with more grip to suit the RS badge.

Maruti officials say that the 5-speed transmission on the Baleno RS is a different unit and is, in fact, heavier than the one in the regular Baleno. However, the gear ratios have been reworked to carry the additional torque, and while gearshifts are smooth, we wish the throws were shorter in the initial gears to allow for quicker shifts.Of course, being a Maruti, they had to ensure that fuel efficiency wasn’t compromised for performance. The direct injection engine has been employed to aid just that. The result is that the Baleno RS delivers 21.1kmpl, as opposed to 21.4kmpl in the standard Baleno. The feat is commendable considering it weighs about 50-60kg more than the standard Baleno, with a kerb weight of 950kg. Handling continues to be great though there is a fair amount of body roll on corners. That’s when you desperately feel the need for better side bolstering in the seats, if not bucket seats.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Driving

Now for the ride and handling bit, the Baleno RS felt much planted on the track. Despite attacking corners back to back at high speeds, the car never felt unsettled. The slightly firm ride helped in stablity on the bends even at high speeds. But it will be interesting to see how it behaves on rough roads in the daily grind. The Baleno RS weighs 950kg, heavier by 60 kg than the standard petrol manual. But it still continues to feel like a light weight car. The turn-ins are still not very sharp, but the steering is direct and weighs up nicely at high speeds. The body roll and side-to-side movement is well contained to not make occupants feel uncomfortable. Then, of course, with a power-to-weight ratio of 100bhp per tonne it still has the knack to be a fast car. Also, its braking capabilities have gone up thanks to disc brakes at all four corners.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Safety

All the wheels get disc brakes along with ABS and EBD, and hence the vehicle never runs out of stopping power. The carmaker is also offering other usual features, like engine immobilizer, keyless central locking, speed-sensing doors, child safety door and seat belt warning.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Price in Mumbai

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS On Road Price is 9,91,984/- and Ex-showroom Price is 8,76,000/- in Mumbai. Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS comes in 7 colours, namely Fire Red,Premium Silver,Autumn Orange,Urban Blue,Grey,Pearl Arctic White,Ray Blue. Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS comes with FWD with 998 CC Displacement and 3 Cylinders with Maximum Power 101 bhp@5500 rpm and Peak Torque 150 Nm@1700-4500 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Final Word

The Baleno RS definitely feels a lot quicker and more fun to drive than the standard Baleno; you’d enjoy taking it on road trips or that late-night stress-busting joy ride with the family. However, the difference isn’t dramatically different. The experience would have been richer with a bit more grunt, drama, and a sporty exhaust note to go with the hot hatch tag. At Rs 8.38 lakh, the Baleno RS costs Rs 1.1 lakh over the top-end Baleno Alpha variant. And yet, it is one of the most affordable performance hatches you can buy right now.

The standard Baleno is more than enough if you want a car with decent performance for everyday driving. But if you want a premium hatchback that offers a bit more wind in your sails and exclusivity that the RS badge brings with it, and don’t mind paying a premium for it, then the Baleno RS will not disappoint.On a side note, it’s interesting to see Maruti make a foray into the performance hatchback segment; it’s possibly a sign of the times to come and raises hope of more go-fast hatchbacks from other carmakers. If the last few years saw the emergence and rise of cross hatches, then the future definitely seems to be making a shift towards performance hatches. And if that happens, expect exciting times ahead for all of us!

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Performance & Test Drive
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