The Maruti Suzuki Baleno will be missing out on the new 1.0-litre BoosterJet petrol engine reserved only for exports, but will get the DDiS diesel motor with the new hybrid technology.
Maruti Suzuki is ready to invoke some much revered nostalgia as the ‘Baleno’ moniker is all set to make a comeback after nearly a decade in the Indian market, but this time in the form of a premium hatchback. Maruti has confirmed that the YRA (codename) will be called Baleno in India as well with the launch date scheduled some time in October this year near the festive season of Diwali. Maruti’s newest premium product will be rivaling the likes of the Hyundai Elite i20, Volkswagen Polo and Honda Jazz in the segment and will be exclusively sold through the NEXA dealerships.
To be produced at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar facility for domestic and international markets, the new Baleno is built on an all-new lightweight platform that promises increased rigidity and contributes to enhanced fuel efficiency, handling and stability. Under the hood, the India spec Baleno will miss out on the new 1.0-litre BoosterJet turbo petrol engine, but will get a 1.2-litre K-Series four-cylinder petrol unit likely to be tuned for improved power output over the Swift. The 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine will get the new SHVS hybrid technology that debuted on the Ciaz for enhanced fuel efficiency. Transmission options will include a 5-speed manual and possibly an automatic as well.
Going by the details revealed at Frankfurt last week, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno will be spacious on the inside and pretty loaded too featuring a premium looking cabin with the SmartPlay infotainment system, steering mounted controls, automatic climate control among other bits. The company also revealed Radar Brake Support as part of the safety features’ list but is likely to be restricted to export markets. We do hope that all variants come with dual airbags (driver side on the base at least) as standard, like the S-Cross; while the top variants will get ABS and EBD. Pricing will be competitive and can be expected to start a shade above the Rs. 5 lakh mark (ex-showroom) close to the Elite i20.