2016 Auto Expo: Maruti Suzuki has a hot hatch idea called Baleno RS Concept image

The Suzuki Baleno is arguably not the most impressive work to come from the Japanese automaker – but at least the Maruti Suzuki unit did a fine job considering the starting point with the Baleno RS Concept.

The New Delhi Auto Expo 2016 was the location for the official worldwide public introduction of the prototype – which actually looks pretty production ready. We’re unsure if the concept will actually hit the production line but if it hits the Indian market it will be a good addition to the carmaker’s roster of models. Reports are arguably pointing towards the dealership-road version and say it would go on sale before the start of 2017. The model packs a 1-liter Boosterjet directly injected petrol engine making 115 PS and 175 Nm of torque. Considering hot hatches are now packing at least 200 hp this Baleno RS is one mild take on the niche – but opposed to the standard 1.2L VVT petrol with 83 hp and the 75 hp diesel it’s still a welcomed addition to the lineup.

The model takes a page out of the “how to make an appealing package” book by throwing in a few minor exterior design modifications and a great looking paint. The engine is mated to a CVT, which is not exactly your gearbox of choice when trying to go for a sporty feel but at least the concept has in the cabin some niceties: sports seats and aluminum pedals. Other highlights include the daylight running lights, projector headlamps, and 16-inch alloy wheels.