Check out this sporty-looking modified Maruti Baleno RS. This one has also received upgrades that make it go even faster than the regular Baleno RS!
The search for performance is a difficult one in India. At the moment, there are no proper performance vehicles at an affordable price tag, at least not in the new car market. This, however, has not diluted the spirit of many enthusiasts, who’ve decided to turn to customisation to extract extra performance from “regular” cars. Here, we have one such example, a Maruti Baleno RS.
The pictures seen here were posted on Stay Tuned India’s Facebook page by its owner. There are plenty of visual as well as mechanical changes to the car, which we shall discuss here. Starting with the front end of the car, we see that the grille has been blacked-out. The front bumper is new, and a new lip spoiler has been added below it. At the side, we see new 17-inch 8J Rodera alloy wheels with six-spoke design, shod with 205/40 Michelin rubber. At the rear, there are no changes to the car, except for the following blacked-out elements – the roof-mounted spoiler, the hatch-mounted spoiler, and the taillamps. Also, the car features Tanabe lowering springs and Dixcel brake pads.
A stock Maruti Baleno RS is powered by a 1.0-litre, turbocharged, inline-4 engine, capable of generating 99 bhp and 150 Nm of peak power and torque, respectively. It comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, which sends power to the front wheels. This particular car also features a few performance upgrades, like a custom air intake from GReddy and a performance tune by RedBandRacing. These mods have helped the car gain 28 bhp and 48 Nm, as claimed by the owner. This looks like a worthwhile car modification indeed!
Due to poor customer demand, Maruti had discontinued the Baleno RS at the beginning of this year, in January 2020. Performance hatchbacks usually don’t fare well in a price-sensitive market like India, where hatchbacks do not carry the same snob value as sedans or SUVs. Also, manufacturers usually shy away from launching a performance focussed model, trying to find a middle ground between performance and fuel economy instead. This ends up restricting the said vehicle's capabilities. This could be another reason why auto enthusiasts prefer to customise “regular” cars rather than spending money on a “performance” car that isn’t really powerful. Thankfully, there are plenty of custom garages all over the country for such people!