As you might know, the Suzuki Baleno hatchback is borrowed by Toyota to sell it as ‘Glanza‘ here in India and ‘Starlet’ in South Africa. The Gazoo Racing SA has now transformed the city car into a rally car—which made its debut at the Cape Overberg Rally recently with Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy-Lyle behind the wheel.
The Starlet rally car is based on the previous-gen model, but of course, it is a different beast altogether with wider tracks, fat wheel arches for those wider tracks, a rally suspension setup, a roof scoop, a wing at the rear, and of course, a roll cage inside. We don’t have the interior pictures but the rear seats are most likely deleted, for obvious reasons. A lot of creature comforts are also probably deleted to save more weight.
Unlike the Starlet road car which is powered by a 77 kW (105 metric hp) 1.5L naturally aspirated petrol engine, the rally car reportedly packs a 2.0L turbo petrol unit with over 194 kW (264 metric hp).
The Starlet rally car’s next points-scoring opportunity is the Secunda Rally, scheduled for 10-11 June, in the area surrounding the Mpumalanga town of Secunda.