The Holden Barina RS will go on sale in November, adding a performance flagship to the city car range.
The Barina RS borrows its turbocharged 103kW/200Nm 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine from the Cruze small car, helping the pint-sized hot-hatch accelerate from 0-100km in around eight seconds according to overseas tests.
Expected to bolster the local range for some time, the Barina RS will be priced in the low- to mid-$20K bracket, sitting above the current range topper, the 85kW/155Nm 1.6-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder Barina CDX hatch, which costs $20,490.
Holden says its engineering team has tested the Barina RS over thousands of kilometres as part of validation work for the new sports variant, and has developed a unique electric power steering calibration for the Australian market.
In the US, the Sonic RS comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission and an optional six-speed automatic, with unique gear ratios designed to give it a sportier feel than non-RS variants.
MacPherson strut suspension with coil springs and a stabiliser bar at the front and a semi-independent torsion beam set-up with gas-charged shocks at the rear join a new four-wheel disc brake package, replacing the standard Barina’s rear drums.
Distinguishing the RS from the standard Barina range is a sports body kit with unique front and rear bumpers, a larger rear spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels and the exclusive Orange Rock hero paint colour, while sports seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel create a performance theme in the cabin.
Official pricing and specification details of the Holden Barina RS will be revealed closer to its November launch.