2016 Suzuki Baleno officially revealed at Frankfurt Motor Show

Article by Andrew Christian, on September 17, 2015

In creating the Baleno, Suzuki knew that it had to raise the bar in order to meet the continuous growing need of the consumers. Further, the company knew that if it was to succeed, it needed to hold nothing back. Chief engineer Kunihiko Ito explained that the company wanted to develop what they believed to be the ideal hatchback.

For one, according to Ito, it had to include every element that one expects from a compact car, namely: comfort, design, fuel efficiency, manoeuvrability, utility, and most importantly, superior driving performance.

In addition, it had to show a sophisticated, grown-up, and elegant character without compromising other features, Ito concludes.

The Suzuki Baleno is indeed a hatchback that has been raised to its ultimate level while remaining to be a car that’s fun to drive. Through the use of innovative technologies plus smart packaging, it results to a balance of superb performance and style.

One of the things that make the Baleno stand out is its use of different new-generation platforms in terms of efficient powertrain, spacious interior, compact body, and the “Liquid Flow” design theme.

This is useful especially when travelling in long distances since the large space brings comfort to passengers in the front and back and also allows for sufficient luggage space.

Exterior Design

When viewed from the front, the Suzuki Baleno’s body elegantly flares from the cabin outwards. This results in an elegant profile that is sporty yet wide and low at the same time. The profile is complemented with the grille, the LED position lamps, blacked-out A-pillars on the wraparound windows, and wide bumper.

When viewed from the side, character lines start at the front which then stretches to the rear portion creating flowing highlights. In the meantime, the rear hatch slopes forward, hinting of a forward movement of dynamic energy. Finally there are the continuous yet gently contoured surfaces that give the effect of power and elegance.

There are other remarkable features on the exterior. The first are the high intensity projector discharge headlamps. Designed in chrome and black, the headlights radiate both sharpness and virility and when paired with the LED position lamps, also function as daytime running lights since they have inner lenses that are capable of producing a line of light, giving the car a high-tech impression.

The Suzuki Baleno also has what are known as the “Guide me light” headlamps. These unique headlamps can help drivers find their way after even under the cover of night especially when leaving the car or even when unlocking the doors with the use of a remote control.

The combination lamps in the rear also have LEDs and provide the car with a more advanced impression mainly due to the inner lens that are able to project what can clearly be seen as an even beam. There are nine colors available for the body of the Suzuki Baleno.

One is “Premium Silver Metallic”, which can underline the curving lines of its body. “Ray Blue Pearl Metallic” is another color available that can change to a red tinge from a green hue, and does so depending on the condition of the surrounding lighting. Giving the Baleno greater style are the chrome-colored door handles and the outer weather strips composed of stainless iridescent steel. Adding to its already sporty look are the wraparound windows that have black sashes and blacked-out A-pillars.

The aerodynamic performance is aided by the thin roof-spoiler that incorporates to the body’s flowing lines. At the bottom are the 15-inch or 16-inch wheels that contrast with the design of the body due to its rather mechanical design.

Interior Design

Looking at the interior, it is clear that Suzuki has ensured that the Baleno not only has elegant styling but also that it is fitted with many innovations. Take the instrument panel for example. Both ends of the panel are flared and characterized through curving lines, giving it a sense of breadth.

The cabin has a restrained black color and is highlighted by silver. Putting more emphasis on the elegance of the cabin are the reddish-amber illumination of the different parts like the air conditioner, audio, and gear shift indicators, to name a few.

The instrument cluster is able to show performance as well as other information with the help of user-friendly graphics that is displayed in a large and high-definition color LCD. Other information that is displayed includes accelerator/brake operation, engine output and torque, and driving G-force. Variants that have the SHVS can highlight the energy flow as well.

Suzuki's Baleno has a rear view camera that can display what is behind the car through a touch panel 7-inch screen. The touch panel screen also has Smartphone Linkage Audio Display with a SD card slot and USB port. The USB port allows the system to be connected to an iPhone, via cable, in order to use many of Apple’s CarPlay functions like Phone, Messages, Music, and Maps.

It even allows access to other functions like Audiobooks, Podcasts, and many other third-party apps that are compatible with the Apple CarPlay. Other smartphones can also be connected to this system through the MirrorLink. Then there is the unique high-contrast and circular display LCD panel that accentuates the automatic air conditioner.

One other innovative feature of the Suzuki Baleno is the adaptive cruise control system. The system uses what is known as millimetre wave radar, which monitors the following distance which then automatically accelerates or decelerates the vehicle.

Thus depending on the distance of the vehicle in front, the driver can set whether the Baleno will maintain a short, medium, or long distance. Finally, the speed limiter feature is another useful innovation. The driver can set a maximum speed; regardless of how far the accelerator pedal has been pushed, the vehicle will not exceed the speed set.

Powertrain

Under the hood of the Suzuki Baleno is the direct-injection 1.0 BOOSTERJET turbo engine, which gives a higher torque and small displacement causing the car to be pleasurable to drive and to offer impressive fuel economy.

The engine delivers a total 82kW output with a 170Nm maximum torque. This is made possible by the BOOSTERJET which reduced the pumping loss in order to create higher levels of power performance and fuel efficiency.

Pumping loss is reduced when the wastegate valve is controlled, open when normal driving but closed to have higher boost pressure especially when undergoing heavy-load operation.

A five-speed manual transmission is paired with the BOOSTERJET that incorporates a convergent gear locating system, specially designed for the Baleno, helping reduce the frictional losses and at the same time improving the shift feel.

There is also the optional six-speed automatic, which allows for high performance when driving at low speed and optimizing fuel-efficiency at high speeds. Suzuki is also offering the 1.2 DUALJET, which is a dual-injection petrol engine.

The DUALJET engine helps improve thermal efficiency giving exceptional balance between fuel efficiency and power performance. Like the 1.0 BOOSTERJET, the 1.2 DUALJET is paired with the same five-speed manual or the optional variable transmission.

The Suzuki Baleno has an in-built suspension developed to have direct-response handling which has the coil springs and MacPherson struts on the front while the rear has coil springs and torsion beam.

The tires have reduced rolling resistance; thus leading to improvements in fuel efficiency but not at the expense of braking performance, ride comfort, and directional stability.

In order to achieve the finest balance when it comes to refined riding comfort and nimble performance, the Suzuki Baleno offers a driving experience that has been greatly fine-tuned through many repeated test runs done in Europe.

Suzuki uses the Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) on its SHVS mild hybrid system to help the engine when the car is accelerating. Further, the ISG is able to generate electricity during regenerative braking making it more efficient than systems that use conventional alternators.

This same electricity generated allows the ISG’s electric motor function to partially assist the engine by improving fuel efficiency.

What happens is that when a car undergoes high-fuel consuming actions like starting from stop to accelerating, it needs additional fuel. The ISG makes up for this additional need by using the stored electricity that was initially generated through regenerative braking.

Press Release

INTRODUCING THE NEW SUZUKI BALENO

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.

Baleno highlights:

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.

*1Only for vehicles with 1.2. DUALJET engine. *2Availability 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.

Exterior

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-outA-pillars and black sashes* add to a sporty look.

A 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 contrasts with the flowing design of the body.

Interior

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 other controls underline the cabin’s stylishness.

Beyond elegant styling, interior innovations that make vehicle usage informative, comfortable and easier:

A 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.

Technology-enhanced performance

The new Baleno features three new technologies for achieving better driving performance and better fuel efficiency: a new-generation platform, the new BOOSTERJET direct-injection turbo engine and the SHVS mild hybrid system.

New-generation platform

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 refined 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.

*1Only for vehicles with 1.2. DUALJET engine. *2Tentative figure for vehicles with SHVS.

Smart packaging

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.

Seating considerations

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.

Luggage space

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.

*1Availability depends on vehicle configuration. *2ESP is a registered trademark of Daimler AG.

Key dimensions

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)

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