Toyota’s badge-engineered Baleno launching in June 2019.

We have already informed you that Japanese automakers Suzuki and Toyota have entered into a partnership wherein the latter will get the Baleno premium hatchback for badge-engineering in India. Now there are reports coming in that Toyota will probably launch their badge-engineered version of the Maruti Baleno as early as June this year. It is already public knowledge that the Toyota’s iteration of the Baleno premium hatchback will be more expensive as compared to the Maruti Suzuki model and the Japanese maker will change the hatchback enough to distinguish it from the Maruti version.

There are hopes that Toyota will not bring the diesel engine model of the Baleno to the market and instead will launch the petrol model only. However, there is no news on what engine will the Toyota’s version of Maruti Baleno will come with. What can be said certainly is that the diesel engine is sure to be not offered on the upcoming Toyota hatchback in its current form. The new Toyota’s version of Baleno will be placed between Liva and Etios in the Indian market.

As far as the Maruti Baleno is concerned the premium hatchback’s entry level model costs Rs. 5.55 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi and the model is a strong seller for the company as well as a bestseller in the segment. The premium hatchback from Maruti comes with 4 total engine options in the market. There are 3 petrol engines -- 1.2L engine rated for 82 Bhp and 113 Nm, mild hybrid 1.2L DualJet petrol engine, and the performance-oriented 1L 3 cylinder BoosterJet engine rated for 101 Bhp and 150 Nm. However, all three options do not come with an automatic gearbox as an option and the auto box is only offered with the 1.2L non-hybrid engine, the rest come with a 5 speed manual as standard. The diesel version of the Maruti Baleno is also not offered with an automatic gearbox and the 1.3L turbocharged diesel engine rated for 74 Bhp and 190 Nm only comes with a 5 speed manual transmission.

The two Japanese companies are strengthening their ties in India under the new partnership and the same deal will see Toyota making the Vitara Brezza for Maruti and also receiving it for badge-engineering. Not just this, Toyota will also get the Ertiga and Ciaz for the badge-engineering process. In turn, Maruti Suzuki will get Toyota’s Corolla Altis sedan and the latter will also supply India’s largest car maker with hybrid technology. This will be a plug-in hybrid setup just like the one seen on Toyota Camry in India. The two Japanese companies are looking at major cost cutting with this move as they expand their line-up in India, thereby adding to the profits from sales.

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