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Toyota and Suzuki recently signed a deal to exchange and share technology, and cars. As a part of this deal, Toyota will manufacture four Maruti Suzuki cars at their Bangalore facility. These are the Baleno, Brezza, Ciaz, and the Ertiga. These cars will also feature a Toyota badge and not the traditional Suzuki one.
According to Rushlane, first of the four to be manufactured will be the Baleno. Codenamed A11, the Toyota Baleno will be soft-launched at some point this month. Dispatch to showrooms are scheduled to start by 26 April 2019, and dealers would have received test-drive cars by 30 April 2019.
Toyota plans to launch two petrol specific variants of the Toyota Baleno - the Alpha, and the Zeta. Both variants will feature 5-speed manual transmissions and Constant Variable Transmission (CVT) automatics. The Toyota badge is expected to be more pricey than the Suzuki badge.
Prices for the Maruti Suzuki Baleno Alpha range between Rs 7.5 lakh (ex-showroom, India) and Rs 8.9 lakh (ex-showroom, India) while prices for the Maruti Suzuki Baleno Zeta range from Rs 6.9 lakh (ex-showroom, India) and Rs 8.3 lakh (ex-showroom, India).
The Toyota Baleno may get a few design and cosmetic changes to make it look different to the Maruti Suzuki offering. The features list is expected to the same that are available on the current Alpha and Zeta trims.
The engine will remain the same — a 1.2-litre L-Series petrol engine that produces 83.1bhp of power and 115Nm of torque. Toyota may price the Baleno competitively so as to take on the Hyundai i20, the Honda Jazz, and the upcoming Tata Altroz.
The next vehicle in line for a launch (2022) is the Toyota Brezza. Toyota have not released a statement about the Ciaz and Ertiga launches just yet. Rumor has it the Toyota Ertiga may be positioned below the new C-Segment Multi-Passenger Vehicle (MPV), the Toyota Innova Crysta.
Maruti Suzuki is in the process of testing the Baleno with a mild Hybrid SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) technology. While the car is expected to launch soon, we have no idea if it will feature the traditional Maruti-Suzuki badge or a Toyota one.
Thoughts About The Toyota Baleno
The Baleno is one of Maruti Suzuki's top selling models in the country. With Toyota involved, the quality and reliability of the hatchback could improve significantly. We're looking forward to testing out a Baleno sporting a Toyota badge.