The new Suzuki Baleno hatchback has been unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show, and the company’s Australian outpost is understood to have thrown its hand up for a local launch.
For overseas markets, the Baleno has been announced with two engines have been announced, with the headline act being the 1.0-litre Boosterjet. This three-cylinder turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine develops 82kW of power and 170Nm of torque, and can be paired with either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
The Baleno will also be available with a 1.2-litre four-cylinder motor that makes 66kW of power and 120Nm of torque, and can be had with either a five-speed manual or CVT.
A mild hybrid version of the new Baleno pairs the 1.2-litre engine with an integrated starter generator and a five-speed manual.
The generator not only awakens the petrol engine from its slumber, but is said to provide a small amount of assistance during acceleration. A small on-board lithium-ion battery, which is recharged by regenerative braking, is responsible for powering the generator motor.
Performance and fuel economy numbers have yet to be provided for any of Baleno’s drivetrain offerings.
Beneath the Baleno’s “liquid flow” skin, the city hatch is based on a new Suzuki platform that’s said to increase rigidity by 10 percent and reduce weight by 15 percent compared to the company’s current offerings.
Features available on the new Baleno include xenon headlights, LED driving lights and tail-lights, climate control air-conditioning, radar-guided adaptive cruise control, driver adjustable speed limiter, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s compatible with Apple’s CarPlay mirroring standard.
The five-seat Baleno is 3995mm long, 1745mm wide, 1470mm tall and rides on a 2520mm wheelbase. Boot space is rated at 355 litres with the rear seats up.
Depending on the variant, the Baleno is equipped with either 15-inch steel wheels with 175/65 rubber or 16-inch alloy wheels paired with 185/55 rubber.
The new Baleno goes on sale in Europe during the second quarter of 2016.
A local launch for the reborn Baleno is still to be locked in, although Suzuki’s Australian arm has confirmed its interest in the small new hatch.
In Australia, the Baleno would be classed above the light Swift hatch as a small car, although its relatively diminutive dimensions position it slightly below traditional small-segment players like the Corolla and Mazda3, which have both grown markedly over the years.