Slated to make its sales debut in India this festive season, the Maruti Baleno (Suzuki Baleno in Europe) has made its first public appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2015. The car will be positioned above the Swift to take on the likes of Hyundai Elite i20, VW Polo, Honda Jazz etc.
The production version is pretty much identical to the iK-2 concept which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show early this year. Based on the small car specialist’s new compact platform, the hatchback will have light kerb weight and good crashworthiness. While the concept was a shade over 4 m in length, the production version measures 3,995 mm in length, 1,745 mm in width and 1,470 mm in height. The sub-4 m body length is primarily dictated by the Indian small car excise duty norm.The Maruti Baleno gets fresh interior with touchscreen infotainment system.
The hatchback debuts Suzuki’s new 1.0-litre BoosterJet turbocharged petrol engine which pushes out an impressive 110 PS and 170 Nm of torque. The 89 hp 1.2-litre DualJet petrol engine that powers the European Swift is also on offer. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard across the range but one can specify the DualJet with CVT and BoosterJet with a conventional 6-speed automatic gearbox.
The DualJet motor is paired to the SHVS Hybrid technology which involves an Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) and a high capacity battery. The system offers torque assistance, start stop and break energy regeneration functions.
The neat dashboard gets a fresh design with a butterfly dashboard, 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system compatible with Apple CarPlay, a blue light instrument console with an MID display, engine start stop button and silver accents. A generous interior space and a boot capacity of 355 litres would be the strong selling points of the Baleno.