Hot hatch segment about to get hotter with Maruti Baleno RS
Due to the thirst for more and more power, the market for hot hatches has grown rapidly in the last few years. Joining the two existing offerings from Volkswagen and Fiat in this segment will be the recently Spotted Baleno RS. Maruti showcased the Baleno RS at the 2016 Indian Auto Expo in concept form and it will be officially launched around the festive season. The production-spec Baleno has been spotted testing in Mumbai, sans any camouflage. Testing of the Baleno started in December last year.
With the Polo GT, VW had started the popular turbocharged petrol hot hatch trend in the country. Fiat has recently contributed to the same with the Abarth Punto and it is currently the most powerful car in the segment. Post launch, the Baleno RS will compete with the two.
A vital USP of the RS will be its new 1.0-litre turbocharged Boosterjet petrol motor. The unit is cable of producing close to 112PS of max power and 170Nm of max torque. It will be mated to a five-speed manual unit. Besides this, the car will also feature rear disc brakes compared to the drums in the stock version.
As seen at the Auto Expo, the go-fast version will have subtle, but sportier aesthetic additions such as a front bumper, side skirts, gunmetal painted alloys and a dual-tone rear bumper with faux diffuser. The vehicle was revealed as a concept, the production version is expected to remain unaltered. Moreover, it will borrow almost every feature the range-topping Baleno has to offer.