The new compact Suzuki Baleno had its world premiere at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show on September 15. The new Baleno, the production version of the iK-2 Concept unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show last March, is slated to be launched in the European market beginning the spring of 2016.
The new Baleno uses Suzuki’s “Liquid Flow” design theme, a stylish design that suggests an energetic mass of liquid in motion.
The overall length, width, and height of the standard model are 3995mm, 1745mm, and 1470mm respectively. To give the cabin a roomy feeling, the interior features generous shoulder room in front, and generous legroom in the rear. The best-in-class cargo space of 355 liters is also not to be missed alongside the other arrangements made for the new Baleno.
Chief Engineer Kunihiko Ito explained, “Many have pointed out that the Swift had a narrow cargo room. Hence, we designed the Baleno to have layout where golf bags and strollers can be stored.”
The notable part is the ultra lightweight new-generation platform. Based on the all-new Alto’s platform, the Baleno will be the first B-Segment car and the next model that will adopt this platform. Ito discussed the results of adopting that platform and using plastic materials, “The curb weight of the most basic MT model is 865kg, 100kg lighter than the Swift.” This curb weight rivals that of a kei passenger car.
The Baleno has three engine options: the newly developed 1.0-liter Boosterjet direct-injection turbo engine; the 1.2-liter Dualjet engine, which is also mounted to the all-new Solio; and the 1.2-liter Dualjet engine mated to the SHVS mild hybrid system incorporating an ISG.
The new Baleno adopts the Radar Brake Support, a collision mitigating system using a millimeter-wave radar. The Adaptive Cruise Control uses this radar to measure the distance to the preceding vehicle and automatically adjusts the speed. Furthermore, its audio/video system include Smartphone Linkage Display Audio compatible with Apple CarPlay. The system is by Bosch, while the map data is supplied by TomTom.
The ultra lightweight new-generation platform and the newly developed direct-injection turbo engine express Suzuki’s enthusiasm for the European market. Since Suzuki doesn’t have a model in between the Swift and the SX4 S-Cross, which is currently produced in Hungary, they hope that the new Baleno will be seen as a model that can fill that gap. The Baleno will be manufactured in India, its main market. “Its Japanese launch is still pending,” Ito stated.
(Translated by Katherine N. Bantiles)