Built on an all new platform, and offered with a new, efficient turbocharged engine, or mild hybrid system, the Baleno would be pitched as a Corolla competitor.
Styling is closely based on the iK-2 concept shown earlier this year and follows what Suzuki calls its “liquid Flow” design theme, including the blacked-out A and B-pillars of the smaller Swift for a cantilevered roof effect.
LED tail-lights, and LED running-lamps join high-intensity discharge projector headlights for an up-to-date look. Chrome door handles, and stainless steel window-strips are designed to impart a more premium feel.
Down below, 15-inch steel, and 16-inch alloy wheels are offered.
On the inside the Baleno features a simple dash design which houses a seven-inch touchscreen display (as seen in the new Vitara), featuring Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink connectivity.
A high definition LCD display in the instrument cluster displays engine output and torque, G-forces, and for hybrid equipped vehicles, energy flow information.
Adaptive cruise control and a speed limiter are also available, as is autonomous braking, plus ESP and six airbags. Boot space is rated at 355 litres.
Two engines are offered in the Baleno, a 1.2 litre DualJet motor which already sees service in the European Swift range. Rated at 67kW the DualJet engine can be paired to a five-speed manual or CVT automatic
A new BoosterJet 1.0 litre turbocharged engine produces 82kW and 170Nm, and promises to offer reasonable performance coupled with the Baleno’s expected light weight. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
Suzuki’s new mild hybrid system (SHVS) utilises a compact lithium ion battery to store energy gathered through regenerative braking. The system can then assist the petrol motor via an Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) during acceleration.
The belt-driven ISG also restarts the auto-stop equipped engine, and promises to be quiter than traditional starter motor setups.
The new Baleno launches in Europe in the second quarter of 2016, with an Australian deliveries expected to follow soon after.
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