A new limited
edition version of the Fiat Stilo 2.4 20v goes on sale
throughout Fiat Auto's UK dealer network this weekend (7/8
Timed to coincide with the Spanish Grand Prix, where
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher will be pushing hard for his
first Grand Prix victory of 2005, the new Prodrive-developed
UK market bound Stilo Schumacher, which was exclusively
revealed by Italiaspeed back in January,
has been created as a tribute to Michael Schumacher's fifth
consecutive Formula One World Championship Driver's title
with Ferrari. The Stilo Schumacher becomes available here in
strictly limited numbers - just 200 RHD units will be coming
to the UK - and in any colour you like so long as it's
Ferrari red! The Stilo Schumacher will be offered here in
two different configurations - standard and GP:
This 170bhp five cylinder three-door hatchback boasts a new,
specially commissioned bodykit; exclusive kick plates and
pedals; a powerful hi-fi sound system with steering wheel
audio controls, CD, MP3 player and subwoofer; ABS anti-lock
braking, ESP and traction control; dual zone climate
control, Schumacher logos, and a special plaque numbered
appropriately from UK001 to UK200.
Stilo Schumacher GP
Impressive though this factory specification is, Fiat Auto
UK was keen to go a step further, so as to offer customers
something even more special. Thus, a unique UK-based chassis
development programme was undertaken to bring the car to the
level of best in class. Carried out in conjunction with Prodrive, the globally acclaimed, high profile UK specialist
automotive engineering concern, this intensive programme has
led to the production of an aftermarket handling package
known as the Stilo GP kit.
The Prodrive developed GP kit, which is a UK fitment,
consists of front and rear road springs manufactured by
Eibach, Bilstein front struts and rear dampers, 7 x 18" OZ
Superturismo alloy wheels, low profile 215/40 ZR18
Continental Contisport Contact 2 tyres, and a stainless
steel rear silencer with twin outlet pipes.
The kit has been created to produce a more sporty car, both
in terms of looks and driver involvement, and is designed to
appeal to customers seeking exclusivity in the 'hot hatch'
A more sporty look has been achieved through lowering the
Stilo to give a slight nose- down stance compared to the
standard car, (approximately 25mm lower at the front, and
17mm at the rear), with uniform wheelarch clearances front
and rear. The twin outlet stainless steel rear silencer
visually highlights the more sporting nature of the car, and
the restrained yet sporty exhaust note amplifies the
attractive sound characteristics of Fiat Auto's twin
overhead camshaft five cylinder 20V engine.
New suspension settings were developed through extensive
testing, both at Prodrive's private test facilities near
Warwick, and on specific sections of public road including
motorways, 'A' roads and challenging 'B' roads. The aim of
the engineering developments was to enhance the sporty
potential of the standard car for the more enthusiastic
driver, without compromising its comfortable ride.
Key to enhancing this sporty nature is to offer good
steering response with informative feedback, and to inhibit
the comparatively large body motions of roll and pitch, so
the car feels 'tight' and well connected to the driver. It
is the judicious combination of springs, dampers and tyres
in the GP kit that achieves this aim.
Increased spring rates help to reduce roll and pitch angles,
allowing the vehicle to be cornered 'flatter', and thus
giving the driver more confidence. The reduction in ride
height, particularly at the front, lowers the centre of
gravity slightly and also lowers the front roll centre. This
inclines the vehicle's roll axis further, which gives the
dual benefits of reducing steady state understeer and
improving steering response.
The bespoke new dampers were especially designed for the GP
kit by Bilstein, and were then fine-tuned by Prodrive, on
both road and track, to provide an enhanced sporty
character. Front struts and rear dampers are a gas filled
mono-tube design, which offers increased body control and
greater fade resistance. The damper tune significantly
increases body control, in roll, yaw and pitch, but
maintains a significant level of compliance, so bumps and
ridges on the road are well absorbed. This is particularly
noticeable during motorway driving, where the level of
comfort is very similar to the standard car.
The change to 18" OZ Superturismo wheels and low profile
Continental Contactsport 2 tyres has dramatically increased
the grip level and improved steering response and feedback.
This is attributable to a reduced sidewall height that has
less distortion under load and keeps the contact patch
flatter on the road. The Continental tyre structure and
compound maintain a significant amount of vertical
compliance, allowing a comfortable ride, but with increased
lateral stiffness benefits.
Overall, the Stilo Schumacher GP provides customers with the
option of creating a more sporty looking and handling car,
while retaining the standard vehicle's comfortable ride and
secure handling, making this exclusive Stilo a real
competitor in a performance arena currently dominated by the
Ford Focus ST170 and Vauxhall Astra SRi Turbo.