04 May 2005

STILO SCHUMACHER ON SALE IN UK

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 May).

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 Stilo Schumacher 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:

Standard

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' market.

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.

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

Ends...

For further information please contact:

PETER NEWTON Public Relations Director

or

Puneet Joshi Press Officer

Fiat Auto (UK) Limited

Tel: 01753 511431                Fax: 01753 516871

E-mail addresses: peter.newton@fiat.com/ puneet.joshi@fiat.com

This press release and pictures are also available on www.newspress.co.uk and additional information can be accessed at www.fiat.co.uk/stiloschumacher

37853/030505

 

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