The replacement for the poor-selling Fiat Stilo will be launched five months earlier than planned, thanks to a fully computerised development process.
Production of the new car was due to start next April, but will now begin in November. The Stilo’s computerised development means that no prototypes were built, making this the first entirely virtually engineered Fiat. Normally up to 100 prototypes are built. Development of the car is being undertaken by Austrian company Magna Steyr – the first time Fiat has used a firm outside Italy for this kind of work.
A replacement for the current Stilo cannot come soon enough for Fiat. ‘Today’s Stilo is underdone, the design wasn’t finished and it simply looks half-baked,’ said design boss Frank Stephenson. Customers agreed: last year just over 72,000 Stilos were built, compared with 450,000 VW Golfs and over half a million Ford Focuses.