Check out this modified Maruti Baleno from Kerala that looks like a fair bit like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class!
Mercedes-Benz is one of the most desirable car brands in the world as well as in India. Maruti Suzuki is the best-selling car brand in India. What happens when you combine both of them together? Well, you get something like this.
The picture above shows a Maruti Baleno modified to look like a Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Merc’s entry-level hatchback model. Instead of being a complete replica build, this one only sports a few design similarities with the A-Class. At the front, the biggest changes are the grille and the bumper. The former gets the diamond mesh treatment, with a chrome strip running horizontally in the middle and a three-star logo in the centre. There are additional air vents at each side of the bumper, along with a small air dam. At the rear too, there is a new bumper, with a fake diffuser and side exhaust vents. Each exhaust vent has two tailpipes coming out of them, which essentially gives this car a (fake) quad-exhaust system.
There’s quite an interesting story behind this particular modified Baleno, but sadly it doesn’t have a happy ending. The guy who modified the car had purchased it second hand from a friend, and then got the customisations done through a local workshop. The Government of Kerala is extremely strict about any illegal vehicle modifications, so after the state transport commissioner received a complaint about the car, the Regional Transport Officer (RTO) of Tirur, Malappuram, began an investigation. The Baleno was then discovered in a used car dealership. The owner had decided to sell the car to avoid further legal trouble. In 2017, the modifications were removed and the RTO then fined the owner but decided not to impound the car.
According to the Motor Vehicles [Amendment] Act, any modification that causes more than 2 per cent change in the weight of a vehicle is illegal. This heavily reduces the window of opportunity for custom car garages. Still, we’ve seen plenty of modified examples of regular cars, most of which we’ve shared here on our website. For more interesting automotive content, keep following IndianAuto.