Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS will be launched in India soon. It will be sold through Maruti’s Nexa premium outlets.
Note: This is a comparison of exterior design and powertrain. Interior details will be updated once the Baleno RS comes out.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS
After immense popularity of their Baleno hatchback in India, Maruti Suzuki will soon launch its more powerful ‘hot hatch’ version, named Baleno RS. The car was showcased at this years Auto Expo, Delhi.
The Maruti Baleno RS will retain similar aesthetics to the standard model, but with some ‘sport’ enhancements and RS badging. On the interior, sport seats, flat bottom steering wheel and aluminum pedals reveal the true nature of the car, among other familiar things. Smartplay infotainment system with Apple carplay is expected to be provided.
A 1.0 liter Boosterjet engine producing maximum of 112bhp and 175Nm will be seen under the hood. This powertrain will be mated to a 5-speed manual, although recent reports claim a CVT as well.
The Baleno RS is expected to carry a price tag near 8 lakh to 9.5 lakh. Upon launch it will compete with the likes of Volkswagen Polo GT, Ford Figo 1.5 AT, Fiat Abarth Punto and the upcoming Tata Tiago Sport.
Let’s check out how they compare:
Maruti Baleno RS vs Volkswagen Polo GT
The Volkswagen Polo GT has a clear advantage in the looks department and the car comes with all the goodies associated with German engineering. Further, once the Polo GTI comes out, you will have a similar looking car at almost half the price.
Engine-Power and Torque
While the VW GT was the original hot hatch in the segment, recent times have seen new competition that produces more power. Its 1.2L TSI and 1.5L TDI engines, both produce 104 bhp of power, delivering 175 Nm and 250 Nm respectively.
At Rs. 8.57 Lakhs (ex-showrrom, Delhi), the car is priced a bit higher in performance hatchback space.
Maruti Baleno RS vs Fiat Punto Abarth
The Puntto Abarth is the proper definition of hot hatch in this list. It looks great, has a very powerful engine and the ‘Abarth’ tag just screams performance.
Powering the car is a 1368 cc, Petrol mill producing maximum of 145 bhp @ 5500 RPM. This makes it the most powerful hatch on the list by quite a bit.
But all these do come with a catch. At Rs. 10.34 lakhs, the Abarth punto is also the costliest of the lot.
Maruti Baleno RS vs Ford Figo 1.5 AT
While the Ford Figo is a great looking car, its most powerful variant doesn’t get many cosmetic differences from the standard. The Baleno RS on the other hand looks the part and has every right to be called a hot hatch.
The top end Ford Figo titanium petrol variant gets a 1.5l Ti-VCT Petrol mill producing 110 bhp@6300 rpm and 136 Nm@4250 rpm. This is only slightly lesser than that of the Baleno.
This is where the Ford Figo shines. At Rs. 7.21 lakhs (ex-showroom,Delhi), this is the most affordable car on our list.
Maruti Baleno RS vs Tata Bolt sport
Tata Bolt sport was earlier showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo, Delhi
Comparing the exterior, The Tata Bolt Sport is still a notch below the Baleno RS and Volkswagen Polo GT. However the new body kit does make it more aggressive.
The Bolt sport is powered by a 4 cylinder, turbocharged, Revotron 1.2T petrol mill producing 120 Bhp @ 5500 rpm and 170 Nm @ 2000-3000 rpm. This makes it the second most powerful car on the list.
Tata didn’t specify any launch plans for the car at the Auto Expo 2016. If launched, the Bolt Sport is expected to be priced near the Rs. 8 lakh range.
But frankly, a sportier version of the Tiago will be more desirable.
Maruti Baleno RS vs Tata Tiago sport
As per reliable source, a sport variant of Tata Tiago will be launched in India instead of Bolt sport. This car is still in nascent stages of development.
Currently we don’t have any information on the exterior design, but expect features like new body kit, large air intakes, bigger alloys and more.
It is heard that the engine will be a 3 cylinder, turbocharged unit-also seen on the Nexon. It will however be tuned higher to produce more than 115 bhp of power.
Affordability of the Tiago should be seen on its sport model as well. This means that we may get the car in the range of 7.2 lakhs or lower.