And so from engines to the suspension. One of the briefs given to the designers allocated to the Fiat Stilo project was to create a suspension capable of higher-category performance levels. The system had to ensure great driving ease and precision, outstanding roadholding and the best possible passenger comfort.Hence the choice of two efficient tried and tested layouts that work very effectively due to the attributes of the new chassis. The front features an independent MacPherson strut configuration refined through the adoption of numerous improvements. The rear configuration is an interconnected wheel (semi-independent) suspension with a torsion beam, a solution already adopted on higher category cars. This configuration assures passengers the following:
- Great comfort because less noise and vibration is allowed into the passenger compartment;
- Outstanding handling achieved by means of a folded sheet steel torsion beam that ensures ideal torsional rigidity for the suspension - plus an antiroll bar that is very light due to a hollow cross-section;
- Excellent driving stability because hydraulic bushes attach the axle to the body and create a toe-in effect on bends.
Top of its class for safety
On the passive safety front, the Fiat Stilo Model Year 2004 (saloon and Multi Wagon) offers 8 airbags, the front two being Multistage. As far as active safety is concerned, the car boasts four disc brakes and offers all the braking and traction control devices available on the market today. ABS with integral electronic brakeforce distributor EBD; ASR, to limit wheel slip during acceleration and MSR to modulate brake torque while shifting down; EVA and HBA devices to help the driver brake fully in emergencies; a sophisticated ESP device that controls car dynamic stability electronically on bends. The options list also includes Xenon headlights that offer significantly better visibility than conventional beams under all weather conditions.
Technology at your service
The Fiat Stilo simplifies the life of its owner: when you enter a tunnel, the headlights will come on automatically under the action of a sensor. At the first drops of a sudden shower, a rain sensor will activate the windscreen wiper. Parking manoeuvres are also made easier by a parking sensor. The driver can customise the operation of these and other systems via a My Car menu on the control panel. The model also offers the convenience of electric power steering and a Memory function that allows you to set and recall up to three steering wheel, seat and door mirror settings. The Fiat Stilo M.Y. 04 also offers CONNECT, an innovative telematic system that links the driver to the wide range of services offered by Fiat Auto. On the new car, the CONNECT service array is complemented by a Dual Band GSM phone with WAP internet access, GPS localisation and a navigation system in addition to a CD sound system that can even play MP3 music files. The system may be managed by voice commands and displayed on a 7" Wide Screen.