Suzuki Australia has confirmed launch timing for its Baleno compact hatch, which will arrive here in the third quarter of this year and be available with a direct-injected turbocharged engine similar to that slated for from the upcoming Vitara Turbo.
Precise specifications have yet to be revealed, but with dimensions that make bigger than the Swift (3,995mm long, 1,745mm wide, 1,470mm high), expect the Baleno to be positioned as a Toyota Corolla competitor with a starting price in the high teens.
Suzuki says the Baleno's compact external dimensions conceal an interior that rivals most bigger small cars, and with a claimed boot capacity of 355 litres the Baleno at least equals many of its competitors for luggage-toting ability.
Interior comfort will also be boosted by the inclusion of a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment unit including sat-nav and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring - the same system as seen in the Suzuki Vitara.
Built around a new lightweight chassis, Suzuki says the Baleno is 15 percent lighter than "the platform currently used in the same vehicle class", with torsional rigidity up by 10 percent.
Its lighter weight should help offset its relatively meagre power output.
Currently three powertrains have been confirmed for the Baleno overseas, with a 67kW/120Nm 1.2 litre petrol or an 87kW/170Nm 1.0 litre "Boosterjet" turbo petrol available with five speed manual or CVT/6-speed automatic transmissions.
A mild hybrid model will also be offered in some markets, and will couple the 1.2 litre naturally-aspirated engine to an electric assistance motor/generator. Don't expect it to show up in Australia.
Further details, such as precise launch timing, starting price, model range and equipment specifications, are still under wraps for now, with more info to surface closer to the Baleno's launch in the third quarter.
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