Holden Barina RS on sale from $20,990

Holden is making a move into the semi-hot-hatch compact market segment with the new Holden Barina RS. The turbocharged micro machine becomes the new flagship Barina, offering sporty highlights in almost every area.

2014 Holden Barina RS

Chief among which is the 1.4-litre turbo engine. The unit was previously seen in the top-spec Cruze SRi-V, which is a larger and heavier model. It produces 103kW and 200Nm, and can be linked up to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The engine consumes 6.5L/100km on the average cycle.

Other mechanical highlights include sports tuned suspension with increased spring rates and firmer dampers, additional body bracing, and a lowered ride height by 10mm.

To ensure the styling of the car keeps up with the peppy performance of the engine, the Barina RS showcases 17-inch alloy wheels, a subtle bodykit with front and rear spoilers, and a set of fog lights in the front bumper. The RS also comes in an exclusive RS-only exterior colour option of Orange Rock.

Inside is similarly themed, with leather ‘RS’ seats, sports pedals, RS floor mats, and various RS logos scattered about. Piano black trimmings are used to give it a premium feel, while passengers will enjoy the standard seven-inch touch-screen MyLink infotainment system

The new variant goes on sale this week with prices starting at just $20,990 for the manual and $23,190 from the auto (both excluding on-road costs).