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The Maruti Suzuki Baleno is placed in the premium hatchback segment in the India market. It is currently being sold through the brand's Nexa premium dealership chain with a couple of engine and transmission options.
However, the Baleno hatchback has been spotted testing recently and we expect it to feature a new engine option. Although spy images from Gaadiwaadi do not confirm anything, It could possibly be the 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine that was offered on the ‘RS' variant.
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS came with a powerful 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine. It produced 102bhp and 150Nm of torque came mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The engine was not given the BS6 upgrade and was axed from the line-up earlier this year.
However owing to the growing demand of the turbo-petrol powertrains, the company might consider it bring back the engine by updating it to BS6 standards. Most manufacturers have switched to petrol-only vehicles after the new emission norms. Among these most have adopted a turbo-petrol powertrain that offers a perfect balance between performance and fuel-efficiency.
The spotted test mule could also be featuring a new hybrid engine under the bonnet, which is another possibility. It could be a 48V strong hybrid system, which will offer a better fuel economy than the current mild-hybrid system from the company.
Adding to the speculation, Bosch was spied testing the Baleno (SHEV) Strong Hybrid Electric Vehicle in Bengaluru. The SHEV system includes a high capacity battery pack, which will enable it to have multiple modes such as full electric, engine boost, coasting and brake energy regeneration.
Currently, the Baleno hatchback is offered two 1.2-litre petrol engines that feature different technology and also produces different power outputs. The 1.2-litre VVT engine producing 82bhp and 113Nm of torque.
While the top-spec 1.2-litre engine comes equipped with Dual VVT and the brand's mild-hybrid technology. It churns out 89bhp and 113Nm of torque — 7bhp higher than the other engine in its the line-up. Additionally, it will also return a better fuel economy due to the mild-hybrid system on the hatchback.
Maruti Suzuki has priced the Baleno between Rs 5.63 lakh and Rs 8.96 lakh, ex-showroom (Delhi). It rivals the Hyundai Elite i20, the Tata Altroz, the Volkswagen Polo and the upcoming Honda Jazz; among others in the Indian market.
Thoughts About The Maruti Suzuki Baleno Spotted Testing
If the company decides to offer a new petrol engine with the Baleno, it will be the only hatchback in the segment that will feature three different petrol engines. The turbo-petrol engine has gained popularity with Hyundai and Skoda selling the 1.0-litre unit across various models in its line-up. As a result, Maruti Suzuki could bring back the engine to meet new emission standards.