Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Overview & Performance

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Overview

Maruti is stepping up their game in the Indian market and of late they have been pushing the envelope in various new dimensions. The carmaker introduced their premium NEXA brand having niche products to taste the higher end of the mass market segment. Maruti recently experimented a different design direction with the launch of the Ignis targeting millennials and now they are finally entering the performance oriented segment. Yes, we are talking about the new Baleno RS that comes with a brand new BoosterJet engine. We just drove the hot hatch at the Buddh International Circuit, testing the limits of the 1.0-litre turbo petrol motor. The RS moniker here stands for ‘Road Sport’ and we see if the first performance-centric hatch from Maruti justifies the RS badge. Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS On road price starts from 8,57,517/-. Check for price details of Baleno RS in CarzPrice.

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Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Exteriors

The Baleno RS doesn’t look vastly different from the Baleno, yet it has a distinct personality. Changes include a new front mesh grille in chrome, bold front bumper, underbody spoilers married with black sports alloy wheels, and the signature RS emblem on the rear door.While these changes give the car a rebel-like personality, the front mesh grille in chrome appears a bit too flashy for a car this sporty.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Interiors

Inside the Baleno RS cabin, there is no change compared to the standard car. We were fairly impressed with the interior of the Baleno, and that is not simply restricted to the way the dashboard or the instrument cluster looks. The all-black look continues to charm, while the materials used and the fit & finish are good for the segment it will play in. The only doubt we have here is whether the consumers would expect some sporty elements in the interiors to go with the RS badge

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Performance

It doesn’t take much time to realise what this car is capable of. Shift into first gear, release the clutch and press the accelerator in under a second you might start to feel that everything around you is being fast-forwarded. The car touches a speed of 100kph in a little over 10 seconds, and has a top speed of 180kph. The Boosterjet pulls strongly from 2000rpm onwards, and keeps pulling beyond 5000rpm, so you never feel the car is running out of power, except when the rev limiter kicks in at above 6000rpm.

Now it’s a powerful engine, yet it is frugal. The claimed fuel-efficiency is a high 21.1kpl. The car has a fuel tank of 37 litres and an ideal range of over 700km on a full tank. (Part of the reason the Baleno RS is so quick is that it’s built on a lightweight platform – its weight is just 950kg.)

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Driving

Maruti Suzuki says that the Baleno RS is ideally made for the highways, where you’d love to cruise all day in three digits. And, the Baleno RS will easily maintain 90kmph at just over 2,000 rpm in fifth gear, and will willingly go into the 100s with a gentle tap on the throttle. It also crosses the 150kmph mark with ease, and highway runs in this car will be engaging for sure.

As the Baleno RS gets a fatter band of torque and the gearing to make the most of it, it felt more comfortable at higher speeds as it was running at relatively lower revs. So, while the highway runs will be more exciting in the RS, it won’t be surprising if the Baleno RS turns out to be more frugal than the Baleno despite the added performance.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Safety

The Baleno RS has been launched as a single variant (Alpha). It is equipped with dual airbags, seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, disc brakes in all wheels, ABS with EBD, and has ISOFIX child-seat restrain anchorages. Driver seatbelt reminder buzzer with lamp and rear parking sensors with camera are among the other safety features

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Cost

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Rs Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 8,57,517/- (Baleno RS 1.0L) to 8,57,517/- (Baleno RS 1.0L). Get best offers for Maruti Suzuki Baleno Rs from Maruti Suzuki Dealers in India

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS Verdict

If you are looking for a quicker family hatchback, the Baleno RS won’t disappoint. With better acceleration, steering and brakes, the performance is an improvement over the standard petrol version. But this comes at a price. The Baleno RS commands a Rs 1.4 lakh premium over the standard petrol car and does not have any additional kit. Yes, along with the more powerful engine and rear disc brakes, you also get a stiffer chassis, improved steering and suspension. However, our sources tell us that all Balenos will get the stiffer chassis soon, anyway. That being the case, the Rs 1.4 lakh premium does seem like a lot. But performance has never come cheap. So, does the car do justice to its RS badge? Yes it’s quick, but out here on the F1 track it didn’t seem a quick hot hatch. Then again, this circuit has made many a sportscar look slow. Guess it’s time to put the Baleno back to back with the Abarth Punto and the Polo GT to find out.

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