Come March 3rd, Maruti will introduce a hotter version of its Baleno hatchback in the Baleno RS. The highlight of this variant of the Baleno is that it will debut Suzuki’s Boosterjet engine – a new turbocharged petrol engine – into Maruti’s line-up.
The unit is a turbocharged 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine that makes a healthy 102hp. Notice that it’s actually a smaller motor than the standard Baleno’s 1.2-litre petrol engine, but makes a good 18hp more in comparison. That’s because it uses technology like turbocharging and direct-injection which allows smaller engines to make equivalent or even more power than bigger engines. Similar technology already features on small cars like the Ford EcoSport (the EcoBoost variants) and the Volkswagen GT TSI.
It’s quite tightly packaged and uses light components to keep the overall weight low. Turbochargers help produce more power by forcing more air into the engine, which improves fuel-burning, in turn, helping produce more power. The Boosterjet engine prioritises on fuel efficiency when driving at low and medium speeds, say, day-to-day traffic situations. However, when pushed harder, the motor shifts focus to producing maximum power and performance.
The other technology in play, namely direct-injection, is where fuel is directly introduced into the engine’s cylinders at high pressures. This allows the fuel to mix with air better, which further helps more efficient combustion.
Thanks to both, turbocharging and direct-injection working in conjunction, the Boosterjet engine will allow to make 150Nm of pulling power from as low as 1,700rpm all the way to 4500rpm. This means, the engine will have sufficient grunt at low speeds, and will also be quite fuel efficient when driven with a light foot. It’s also likely to be quite punchy at high revs, but as with all engines, expect a drop in fuel economy when driving spiritedly.
Weighing in at 930-950kg, the bantamweight Baleno is already a peppy car, and with the more powerful Boosterjet engine, it’s likely to be one of the quickest hatchbacks around the Rs 10 lakh mark. After the Baleno, the Boosterjet engine is likely to be offered on the Vitara Brezza, the Ciaz and the Ertiga.