Suzuki has released the production version of its Baleno compact, a five-door hatchback shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year.
While only the motorcycle arm of the company continues to do business in the US, the automotive division is still highly successful in Japan, Europe and southern Asia. The production version is based on the iK-2 concept shown at Geneva a year ago and remains fairly faithful to the show car.
At launch, the car will come with a 1.2-liter, 90-horsepower DualJet inline-four. The engine has an atypical fuel injection system that consists of two injectors at each cylinder, designed to fill the cylinder for a cleaner burn to lower emissions, as well as reducing the overall operating temperature for better efficiency. The naturally aspirated DualJet is mated to a continuously-variable transmission and is rated at 58 mpg on the Japanese testing cycle.
A second option will be the 1.0-liter BoosterJet, a turbocharged direct-injection engine. While the mileage drops to 47 mpg, drivers get a boost in power to 110 horsepower and an upgrade to a 6-speed automatic. The BoosterJet will go on sale May 13.
The Baleno’s lineage can be traced back to the Cultus, a model sold in the US as the Esteem. The car will be built in India by Suzuki-Maruti and imported to Japan and Europe. Prices for the DualJet start at just above 1.4 million yen, which translates to approximately 12,430 US dollars. Suzuki has no plans for sale in the US.