Born from the 2015 iK-2 concept car, seen at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015, the Suzuki Baleno was launched in September this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Due for release in Europe in spring of 2016, the Baleno has been described as a vehicle that "harmoniously combines stylish design, spacious interior, and new technologies." Read further to discover all the great features that the newest member of the Suzuki family has to offer.
When Suzuki set out to create a hatchback like none before, it first established a key guideline - hold back on nothing. The result is the Suzuki Baleno, a harmonious combination of styling that flows, superb performance achieved through ground-breaking technologies, and smart packaging. To create a new, bar-raising hatchback that is fun to drive and engineered to meet today's consumers' needs, Suzuki wanted to take the compact car to the ultimate level. Baleno chief engineer Kunihiko Ito explains: "We set our sights on developing the ideal hatchback, one that makes no compromises, giving it an elegant, sophisticated and grown-up character. The Baleno perfectly embodies all the elements expected in a car of this size, design, utility, comfort, manoeuvrability, superior driving performance, and fuel efficiency."
With its "Liquid Flow" design theme, compact body, spacious interior, and efficient powertrains, all on a new-generation platform- the Baleno offers style, utility, manoeuvrability, driving performance and fuel efficiency. It also offers comfort, including on long-distance journeys, with plenty of space for adults in both the front and rear, as well as generous luggage space.
Sales of the Baleno will start in Europe in the spring of 2016.
New-generation platform, with increased rigidity and reduced weight, enhances fuel efficiency, handling and stability, while still achieving high levels of safety and NVH performance. New 1.0 BOOSTERJET direct-injection turbo engine with high torque output and SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki)*1 with 1.2 DUALJET engine both provide excellent fuel economy in combination with Suzuki's most-aerodynamic hatchback design ever.
Sporty profile that is low and wide, avant-garde front section, wraparound windows, expressive character lines and gently contoured, continuous surfaces convey elegance and power.
Innovative features on the inside include advanced multi-information colour display, active cruise control with speed limiter, and a Smartphone Linkage Display Audio compatible with Apple CarPlay*2.
Seating for five people features generous shoulder room in front, and generous legroom in the rear. Spacious and flexible boot offers best-in-class*3 luggage space.
Radar Brake Support (RBS) *2 and other comprehensive safety features add to safety and peace of mind.
*1 Only for vehicles with 1.2. DUALJET engine. *2 Availability depends on vehicle configuration. *3 "B-segment
hatchback" as defined by Suzuki (hatchback with overall length of 3,700mm-4,100mm)
Styling that flows
The "Liquid Flow" design theme'suggestive of an energetic mass of liquid in motion, permeates throughout, articulated by curving lines and expressive surfaces. Meanwhile, a low and wide silhouette helps underline a strong and sporty look.
Seen from the front, the body graciously flares outward from the cabin, resulting in a low, wide and sporty yet elegant profile that is complemented by a wide bumper, grille, distinctive LED positon lamps, and wraparound windows with blacked-out A-pillars. From the side, character lines that begin at the front and sweep toward the rear create flowing highlights, while a forward-sloping rear hatch suggests the moving forward of dynamic energy, and gently contoured, continuous surfaces create the impression of power amidst elegance.
Other exterior features:
High intensity discharge projector headlamps*, with a black and chrome design that emanates virility and sharpness, and LED position lamps*, which also work as daytime running lights, with inner lenses that produce an even line of light, convey a high-tech impression.
"Guide me light" headlamps* help users find their way in the dark after leaving the vehicle or when unlocking the doors by remote control.
LED rear combination lamps give an advanced impression due to an inner lens that projects an even beam*. Nine body colours include "Premium Silver Metallic", which emphasises the body's curving lines, and "Ray Blue Pearl Metallic", which changes from a green hue to a red tinge, depending on surrounding lighting conditions.
Outer weather strips made of iridescent stainless steel and chrome door handles provide greater elegance*. Wraparound windows with blacked-out A-pillars and black sashes* add to a sporty look. Thin roof-spoiler integrated into the flowing body lines help improve aerodynamic performance*. 16-inch alloy wheels* or 15-inch steel wheels* have a mechanical design that contrastsÂ with the flowing design of the body.
The instrument panel is flared at each end for a sense of breadth and is characterised by curving lines. Silver accents stand out against the restrained black of the cabin, and reddish-amber illumination for the audio, air conditioner, gear shift indicator, and otherÂ controls underline the cabin's stylishness.
Beyond elegant styling, interior innovations that make vehicle usage informative, comfortable and easier: large, high-definition colour LCD display in the instrument cluster shows performance and other information through user-friendly graphics. Highlighted features include driving G-force, engine output and torque, accelerator/brake operation, and energy flow (for vehicles with SHVS), among others.*
A Smartphone Linkage Audio Display with a 7-inch touch panel screen has a USB port and SD card slot and displays the view behind the vehicle by way of a rear view camera*. It can be connected to an iPhone via a USB cable for using Apple CarPlay's various functions, such as Maps, Phone, Messages, and Music, as well as Podcasts, Audiobooks, and third-party Apple CarPlay compatible audio apps. It can also be connected to smartphones using MirrorLink.
A unique circular display and a high-contrast LCD panel highlight the automatic air conditioner*. An adaptive cruise control system uses millimetre wave radar to monitor following distance and automatically accelerate or decelerate the vehicle to maintain a long, medium, or short distance from any vehicle directly in front as set by the driver. It also features a speed limiter that prevents the vehicle from exceeding the maximum speed set by the driver, regardless of the extent to which the accelerator pedal is pushed.
* Availability depends on vehicle configuration.
The new Baleno features three new technologies for achieving better driving performance and better fuel efficiency: a new-generation platform, the new BOOSTERJET direct-injectionÂ turbo engine and the SHVS mild hybrid system.
A new Suzuki platform was developed by radically reviewing the basic structure of the vehicle underbody in pursuit of achieving lighter weight and enhancing fundamental vehicle performance. Compared to the platform currently used in the same vehicle class, body rigidity has been enhanced by approximately 10 per cent and, due to the use of a continuous skeletal structure that creates a smooth form, total vehicle weight has been reduced by approximately 15 per cent. Additionally, by aiming for optimisation of the entire vehicle including components attached to the underbody, Suzuki has been able to keep vibration and noise in check, while maintaining riding comfort.
New 1.0 BOOSTERJET direct-injection turbo engine
The 1.0 BOOSTERJET is a newly developed direct-injection turbo engine that achieves both good fuel economy and driving pleasure, which is made possible by using a small displacement, high torque turbocharger. By controlling the wastegate valve, which closes to create higher boost pressure during heavy-load operation and remains opened during normal driving, the BOOSTERJET reduces pumping loss, thus achieving high levels of both power performance and also fuel-efficiency.
The Baleno features the 1.0 BOOSTERJET engine, which has a maximum output of 82kW and a maximum torque of 170Nm.
The Baleno is also available with a new 1.2 DUALJET, a dual-injection petrol engine with improved thermal efficiency that strikes an excellent balance between power performance and fuel efficiency.
Regarding transmissions, the 1.0 BOOSTERJET can be paired with either an optimally geared five-speed manual incorporating a specially designed convergent gear locating system that helps reduce frictional losses and improve shift feel or a six-speed automatic transmission that enables high performance at low speeds and optimum fuel-efficiency at high speeds.
The 1.2 DUALJET can be paired with either the same five-speed manual transmission as the 1.0 BOOSTERJET or with a continuously variable transmission.
An intuitive suspension has been developed for direct-response handling with MacPherson struts and coil springs up front and a torsion beam and coil springs in the rear. Reduced rolling resistance tyres improve fuel efficiency without sacrificing directional stability, ride comfort, and braking performance.
Fine-tuned over repeated test runs in Europe, the Baleno offers a driving experience achieved by Suzuki's pursuit of the best balance between nimble performance and refinedÂ riding comfort.
New mild hybrid system (SHVS)*1
The SHVS is a mild hybrid system by Suzuki that uses an ISG (Integrated Starter Generator) to assist the engine during acceleration and also generates electricity through regenerative braking, which it does more efficiently than systems using conventional alternators.
Using the electricity stored through regenerative braking, the electric motor function of the ISG improves fuel efficiency by partially assisting the engine, which it does by making up for the additional added portion of fuel usually required during the high-fuel-consuming actions of starting from a stop and accelerating. It also allows for a smooth and quiet restart after an automatic engine stop, thanks to the use of an ISG belt-drive start, rather than restart by a conventional starter motor. Furthermore, the SHVS uses a compact, high-charging-performance lithium ion battery, making possible frequent engine assists. In the Baleno, the system aims to lessen the footprint on the environment with a CO2 emissions target of 93g/km*2.
*1 Only for vehicles with 1.2. DUALJET engine. *2 Tentative figure for vehicles with SHVS.
The common difficulty of achieving both a stylish design and a spacious interior has been overcome by ensuring maximum space through repeated revisions down to a single millimetre. The result is smart packaging that not only achieves spacious comfort, but also best-in-class luggage space. A key element in achieving this within an overall body length of less than four metres is a new-generation platform that enables efficient use of space plus a more-compact engine design with a less-tilted mounting position that also frees up more interior room.
The front seats come with ample shoulder room due a wide space between the driver and passenger seat positions. Both seats feature an optimised shape and spring position for ride comfort and high-tensile materials for lightness and strength. The rear seats feature ample legroom, due to a substantial front-rear-seat tandem distance of 805mm. They can be easily folded by a single action and come in various bench or split configurations with three separate-type head restraints. Also, ingress and egress in the rear is facilitated by generous rear door apertures.
The luggage space boasts 355 litres, making it the largest among B-segment hatchbacks*. To accommodate long or wide items, the shape of the suspension has been optimised to free up space on both sides at the back of the boot. Flexibility is another key asset of the luggage space. The space can be enlarged by folding down the rear seatbacks, sliding the front seats forward, and using the luggage board in either its upper or lower position.
* According to a Suzuki survey of B-segment hatchbacks as defined by Suzuki (a hatchback model with an overall length of 3,700mm-4,100mm) and measured using the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) method.
Safety and security
Safety performance for assisting the driver and mitigating injury in accidents is enhanced by a number of safety technologies, chief among which is Radar Brake Support*1 (RBS). With RBS, when the vehicle is travelling at a speed greater than approximately 5 km/h, millimetre wave radar detects any vehicle that might be directly in front. Upon detecting a potential collision, depending on the situation, the vehicle 1) alerts the driver, 2) increases braking force, or 3) automatically applies the brakes. Other safety features include ESP 2, six SRS airbags and an impact absorbent body. Various components have also been designed to lessen injuries sustained by pedestrians in vehicle-to-person collisions.
*1 Availability depends on vehicle configuration. *2 ESP is a registered trademark of Daimler AG.
Length: 3,995mm; Width: 1,745mm; Height: 1,470mm (1,460mm with SHVS); Wheelbase:
2,520mm; Minimum ground clearance: 120mm (110mm with SHVS); Tread front/rear:
1,520mm with 185/55R16 tyres (1,530mm with 175/65R15 tyres)