Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS – Expected Price
The Baleno RS should undercut the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI, and, at the same time, should command a premium over the Baleno Alpha petrol
Maruti Suzuki will launch the Baleno RS in India on March 3, 2017. The Baleno RS is a more powerful version of the Baleno hatchback that Maruti Suzuki sells from its Nexa chain of showrooms. It will launch in one variant only and will have all the features that the Alpha variant of the Baleno gets.
The Baleno RS will get a 1.0-litre Boosterjet petrol engine that makes 102PS of maximum power. The 3-cylinder engine is a turbocharged unit and produces 150Nm of maximum torque between 1,700 to 4,500rpm. You can gauge the increase in performance from the fact that the regular Baleno, which draws power from a 1.2-litre, 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol engine, makes 84PS of maximum power and 115Nm of max torque at high 4,000rpm. The Baleno is available with an option of a CVT or a 5-speed manual transmission. The Baleno RS will come with a 5-speed manual transmission only.
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno petrol range starts from Rs 5.28 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) but the top-end Alpha petrol variant, which is available with the manual transmission, is priced at Rs 7.30 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The Baleno RS gets disc brakes on the rear wheels as well, which the Baleno doesn't. Other than that, there are cosmetic updates in the form of a new front grille and redesigned front and rear bumpers. Maruti Suzuki states that the Baleno RS gets black alloy wheels, however, the wheel size and tyre size of the Baleno RS are the same as the Baleno's. On the mechanical front as well, the Baleno RS is the same as the Baleno as there is no change to the suspension setup, the ride height or the gearbox.
Interesting Read - Baleno RS vs Polo GT TSI vs Abarth Punto vs Ford Figo Diesel
So, over the Baleno Alpha, the only major feature update that the Baleno RS gets is the rear disc brakes. The cosmetic changes revolve around the front and rear bumpers and the front grille. The most obvious differentiator between the two cars then is the engine, which should also affect the sticker price the most.
The competition for the Baleno RS includes cars like the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and Abarth Punto, both draw power from turbocharged petrol engines. However, the Polo GT TSI gets a DSG gearbox and costs Rs 9.11 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The Abarth Punto costs Rs 10.31 lakh but is the fastest of the lot with a claimed 0-100kmph time of 8.8s.
The Baleno RS will neither get a gearbox as sophisticated as the Polo's, nor will the engine be as powerful as the Abarth's. However, Maruti Suzuki will do what it does best -- price the Baleno RS appropriately to gain an advantage over competition; and of course, it also has the reliability and an extensive service network in its favour.
Maruti Suzuki, therefore, has a large window to play. On the one side, it has the Baleno Alpha petrol at Rs 7.3 lakh, and on the other, there's the Polo GT TSI at Rs 9.11 lakh. Maruti Suzuki will have it at the back of its mind that the Baleno RS will never be a volume player and therefore, there are chances for the Baleno RS to be priced nearer to the Polo GT TSI than to the Baleno Alpha. As a result, it'll be safe to say that Maruti Suzuki may price the Baleno RS between Rs 8.30 to Rs 8.40 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). In that case, the Baleno RS will be placed comfortably below the Polo GT TSI and will command a premium over the regular Baleno as well.
Read more - Baleno RS Bookings Open
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