Maruti seems busy adding more firepower to its SUV portfolio to challenge the likes of Hyundai and Kia
After new-gen Brezza and Grand Vitara, Maruti Suzuki will be adding a third SUV in its portfolio in the form of Baleno Cross. Codenamed YTB, the coupe crossover SUV will likely be slotted between Brezza and Grand Vitara. It will be sold via Maruti Nexa dealerships.
Baleno Cross is expected to be unveiled at 2023 Auto Expo in January. Launch is likely in February 2023. It won’t have any direct rival at the time of launch. Baleno Cross will be targeted at folks who prefer coupe-styled SUVs over the usual boxy profile. In that sense, Baleno Cross could work as the spiritual successor to S-Cross. The latter may not be the top selling car, but it did register consistent sales every month.
2023 Maruti Baleno Cross SUV Spied
While the core silhouette seems familiar to Baleno, the design language has been borrowed from Grand Vitara. It is evident in the high-mounted sleek LED DRLs, low-set headlamps and trapezoidal grille with chrome highlights. Baleno Cross comes across as a toned-down version of Futuro-e concept that was unveiled at 2020 Auto Expo.
Side profile of the SUV is distinguishable with its black body cladding and squared-off wheel arches. It will be getting a new set of sporty alloy wheels. At rear, key features include boot-lid integrated spoiler, raked rear windshield and prominent bumper. Spy shots are credited to automotive enthusiasts Manav and Karan.
While it has a coupe-styled body, Baleno Cross will have ample space and headroom. Maruti will ensure that users have access to a comprehensive range of features such as floating touchscreen infotainment system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, head-up display, connectivity features and automatic climate control. Top-spec variants could get leather seats and leather wrapped steering wheel.
Toyota Glanza Cross launch also expected
Along with the Baleno Cross, there is another test mule of similar proportions. This matches the silhouette of Toyota Yaris on sale in the international market. It is likely that Maruti is using the international spec Toyota Yaris to benchmark their upcoming Baleno Cross. Or Maruti is testing Baleno Cross version for Toyota. Just like Brezza-Urban Cruiser, Baleno-Glanza and Grand Vitara-HyRyder, Baleno Cross could also get its twin in the form of Glanza Cross. It will have distinctive styling, while sharing the same powertrain and other hardware.
Baleno Cross and its Toyota twin will be based on Suzuki’s Heartect platform. They are expected to get a 1.0-litre BoosterJet turbo petrol motor for a peppier performance. Driving dynamics could be better, as compared to that of Brezza that utilizes a 1.5-litre NA petrol motor. With Toyota-Suzuki’s focus on hybrids, it is likely that Baleno Cross and Glanza Cross could get a 48V mild-hybrid powertrain. Both manual and automatic transmission options will be available.
With an expanded SUV portfolio and segment-agnostic products like Baleno Cross, Maruti will have a better chance of competing with carmakers like Hyundai and Kia in the sub-4-meter and compact SUV segment. Maruti has already received over 1 lakh bookings for Brezza and Grand Vitara. SUV sales could get a further boost with launch of new Baleno Cross next year.