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The highly-anticipated 'Toyota Baleno' will launch in India this year itself. As per reports, the rebadged version of the new Maruti Baleno — the first product under the alliance between Maruti Suzuki and Toyota India — will be launched in the country in the second half of 2019. The alliance was formed back in 2017 in order to promote electric vehicle technology.
Speaking to Autocar India, N Raja, Deputy Managing Director at Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, "One thing we're working on now is one of the products from the alliance — the Baleno. Towards the second half of this year, we should be seeing it made available to our dealers for sale."
"From Toyota's side, our focus is to differentiate the sales experience for the customers that we get. We would look at Toyota's strengths in sales. We have more than 1.5 million Toyota customers, we have to focus on how we approach them and offer them this product so that they remain in the Toyota family," he added while at the inauguration ceremony of Toyota's first driving school in Mumbai.
Besides the badging, the upcoming 'Toyota Baleno' will feature an overhaul to the front and rear design, even though the overall changes would be kept to a minimum. Any major change will involve the use of different sheet metal patterns, and hence, further investments and input costs. The Baleno hatchback under Toyota will obviously sport a different name and is aimed to provide a 'different' hatchback experience.
Regarding specifications, it will employ the same power plant and transmission choices as on the regular Maruti Baleno. However, some kind of hybridisation will be introduced in the future.
The latest Maruti Baleno hatchback is available in both petrol and diesel formats. The 1.2-litre petrol engine makes 89bhp and 115Nm of torque while the 1.3-litre diesel unit churns out 75bhp and 190Nm. Both engines come mated to a five-speed manual and the petrol engine can be opted with a CVT.
Thoughts On The New 'Toyota Baleno' Hatchback
Rumours regarding the upcoming Toyota-rebadged Baleno have been doing rounds for quite a few months now. We had shared multiple reports regarding the same as well. However, now we have a definite launch time frame from Toyota themselves. What do you expect in the new 'Toyota Baleno'? Let us know in the comment section below.