Maruti Suzuki has teased an upcoming product on its Twitter handle. Touted as India’s favourite carmaker, the company is looking forward to introduce a new vehicle in the near future. Although the teaser image doesn’t reveal much but given by the choice of futuristic graphics, our guess is that it is going to be either the Baleno Hybrid or an electric version of the WagonR. The future is electric and every major carmaker has already started electrifying their range so it only makes sense that Maruti Suzuki started doing it too.
A test mule of the Baleno was spotted a few days ago with strain gauge apparatus on all 4 wheels indicating that this Baleno might be powered by a Hybrid powertrain.
The premium hatchback segment in India is now witnessing some action again, now that we have the new-gen Hyundai i20 and the Tata Altroz. Another popular offering in this segment is the Baleno. It might be popular but comparatively, it has started feeling a little dated. The only problem with switching completely electric now is the lack of charging infrastructure and the disposal of the components later. Until all that is set up, it’s difficult to go all-electric.
Hence, a hybrid powertrain seems to combine the best of both worlds, right now. Although, a hybrid powertrain is something we see on high-end cars, Maruti being Maruti can pull off a mega trick especially with them dropping a bomb on social media a few days back about a product being based on Baleno but this is just connecting the dots, nothing is official.
The hybrid powertrain in the Baleno could feature a pair of electric motors. Along with the engine in the front driving the front wheels, there could be 2 electric motors, one for each rear wheel so as to offer a hybrid solution and drive the rear wheels in case of going full-electric for around 20-30 Km on the motors alone.
The motors could be charged while braking, that is regenerative braking and while idling. Currently, the Baleno is powered by a 1.2L, 4 cylinder, naturally aspirated, front-wheel drive front engine that puts out 82PS and 113Nm of peak power and torque outputs respectively, which is mated to a 5-speed or a CVT unit. The mild-hybrid version will be coupled with an electric motor as mentioned.
Another speculation is regarding the arrival of an all-electric version of the WagonR but given the cost of developing a fully electric car and producing it, it might not cost as reasonably as other Marutis. The reason why we think that the carmaker would refrain from offering an all-electric car, just yet.