The Fiat Stilo Schumacher | Part Two

The Fiat Stilo Schumacher GP

Fiat Stilo

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 Review.

Pricing Basic £ VAT £ Total OTR charges £ OTR £
Stilo Schumacher 13,419 2348 15,767 228 15,995
Schumacher GP 14,270 2497 16,767 228 16,995
Published 8 May 2005 Melanie Carter

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