The upcoming hatchback won’t be a simple cross badging as Toyota will make significant design changes to the current Baleno
Toyota and Suzuki announced their new partnership in March 2018 in which they are going to develop electric vehicles and technologies for future along with sharing products between each other to improve sales. Maruti Suzuki will share Baleno premium hatchback and Vitara Brezza compact SUV to Toyota and in return, the company will share Corolla sedan, which is the segment best seller.
Toyota is yet to crack hatchback segment in India even though they have Etios Liva in its lineup and the re-badged Baleno will help the company to improve its share in this segment. Suzuki is expected to supply 20,000-25,000 units of Baleno every year to Toyota. The premium hatchback based on Baleno from Toyota is expected to be launched in July 2019.
The upcoming hatchback won’t be a simple cross badging as Toyota will make significant design changes to the current Baleno as they want both models to look different. We can expect some design inspirations to be taken from International models, but the interior might be carried over from Suzuki as it will increase cost.
The dimensions won’t change as Baleno measures 3995 mm in length, 1745 mm in width and 1500 mm in height. The wheelbase of Maruti Suzuki Baleno is 2520 mm and the kerb weight is 960 kg. The Baleno is based on Heartect platform of Suzuki, which also underpins the new generation of Swift and Dzire.
The engine lineup will be carried over from Suzuki as the Baleno based Toyota premium hatchback comes with both petrol and diesel engines. The 1.2 L K-Series engine puts out 83 bhp of power at 6,000 rpm and 115 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The 1.3 L DDiS unit sourced from Fiat produces 74 bhp and 190 Nm.
Both these engines are mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and CVT automatic transmission is available with a petrol engine only. Suzuki Baleno returns 27.39 kmpl for diesel and 21.4 kmpl for petrol. We can expect ride and handling to be same between both models. Toyota might price the premium hatchback aggressively against the competition.