The Benefactor Schafter is a luxury 4-door sedan featured in Grand Theft Auto IV and The Ballad of Gay Tony. The Schafter has been redesigned in The Ballad of Gay Tony, nicknamed the "Second Generation", sporting a much more luxurious look.
The first-generation Schafter is similar in design to a 1999-2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class but was modified to appear with a smaller body and less flamboyant fascias. It's rear fascia seems to be derived from a 1999–2006 Mercedes CL-Class, most likely the AMG variant.
In The Ballad of Gay Tony, the second-generation Schafter is featured. It has a more modernized appearance, with a general body design similar to that of a W212 Mercedes-Benz E-class, a front fascia clearly derivative of that of a C216 Mercedes-Benz CL-class, and a rear fascia similar to that of a W212 Mercedes-Benz E-class. Adding to the more modern appearance is the presence of LED strips below the two bi-xenon bulbs in the headlights, and LED taillights.
The Schafter in GTA IV is powered by a 6.5L supercharged V12 coupled to a 5-speed gearbox in a RWD configuration. Although a 6.5L supercharged V12 is quite powerful for a car of its class, it feels slow. However it is quite a heavy vehicle, so acceleration is below average, compared to other vehicles in its class, such as the Oracle and Presidente. Top speed is a little bit above average: 145 mph (232 km/h) even though the speedometer says 155 mph (248 km/h) is the top speed, the Schafter struggles to shift gear at 145 mph (232 km/h), therefore, limiting the advertized speed by a small fraction. The car Handling is above average—although a slight hint of oversteer is detectable, the Schafter's firm suspension makes it a joy in low-speed cornering. The suspension is a perfect balance of firm and soft, keeping the Schafter planted on the road in turns, while not jarring over bumps. Braking is fair, and ABS is available, though not standard. Crash deformation and engine build quality are excellent; the car is capable of sustaining multiple direct impacts, and can also take a great amount of gunfire before the engine gives off or bursts into flames. The Russian Mafia Schafter has a slightly higher top speed than it's unmodified counterpart at 160 mph (256 km/h). But the same problem as the standard Schafter remains. The speedometer says the top speed is 170 mph (272 km/h), but it struggles to shift gear at 160 mph (256 km/h).
The 6.5L supercharged V12 engine is not found in real-life Mercedes-Benz S-Class cars, which instead have twin-turbo V12 engines with 5.5L (S600) or 6.0L (S65 AMG) displacements. The game designers may have intended for the Schafter's engine to be an "amalgamation" of the powerplants found in the S55 AMG (5.4 L (5439 cc) supercharged V8) and S65 AMG (6.0L twin-turbo V12).
GTA IVA tuned version of the Schafter (similar to S-Class variants from the Mercedes-AMG division, most likely the Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG) is commonly found in Hove Beach, Broker, being driven by the Russian Mafia. It comes in black, and has black rims, sport body kit, and no front emblem. However, the Russian Schafter can be resprayed to any color. The black rims can also be recolored back to the standard silver. The grille would remain black though. If you respray the Schafter to a specific silver coat, it comes with the same blacked-out rims from the Russian Mafia variant.
Another possible variant has the default bodykit and colors but sports the blacked-out rims like on the Russian Mafia Schafter. It could be a coding mix-up or game glitch.
The Ballad of Gay Tony
Similarly, the Ballad of Gay Tony's Schafter ("Second Generation") is also available in a modified form, featuring a different grille design, a low-riding body kit, a pair of single exhaust pipes (as opposed to two for each pair on a regular variant), and the possibility of appearing with one of two body color styles, including a single all-round body color, and a two-tone scheme with the darker color painted over the trunk lid, roof and a portion of the hood lid.
The Ballad of Gay Tony's Schafter also serves as the basis for a limousine dubbed the "Stretch E".
- The Schafter is one of the two only vehicles in the GTA IV era that has two generations. The other being the Faggio.
- In the opening scene of Grand Theft Auto IV, some Triad gangsters are seen loading heroin into a black Schafter. The same car is seen being lowered onto the dock while Niko Bellic is waiting for Roman. This therefore makes it the first car seen in the GTA IV era. Mikhail Faustin is being driven in a similar Schafter in the mission The Master and the Molotov.
- In A Revenger's Tragedy, a rare Schafter can be found at the abandoned Alderney Casino. It is the Russian Mob variant, with black rims, but has a dark red paint job. No matter how many times the player sprays a Schafter in a Pay 'n' Spray, the car will remain the same color. A Schafter in the same color can be seen in the TLAD mission Politics, in the airport. Although dismounting Johnny's Hexer is risky in the airport, the Schafter can be stolen.
- There is a particularly rare color variant of the Schafter with a silver body and black rims; Schafters of this color are only seen while the player is already driving a Schafter.
- The two default radio stations in the Schafter are Jazz Nation Radio 108.5 and Fusion FM in Grand Theft Auto IV and K109 The Studio.
- The name Schafter is probably meant to be similar to the word "Shafter", which can be assumed to be a reference to a penis, true to Rockstar's distinct sense of humor
- When you are driving a Schafter in Fishmarket South, underneath the main road you can find a magenta or a fluro pink Schafter parked across the street from The Pier 45 resturant.
- The Russian Mafia variant appears in The Cousins Bellic.
- Schafter is German for "steward".
- In the loading sequence, the concept art shows Niko Bellic escaping from the police in a red Schafter.
- The Second Generation Schafter shares a similar rim design with the Feltzer.
- Jimmy Pegorino owned a black Schafter that looked alike the Russian Mob variant except the sports kit and the grille found on the Russian Mob Variant.
- The first generation Schafter most likely has LCI taillights.
GTA IV + The Lost and Damned
- Common in Hove Beach, where both the regular Schafter and the Russian Mafia Schafter can be found. The car is also available in TBOGT at the same spot.
- Down the street from the Broker Safehouse, towards Firefly Island. Sometimes a Merit or Rebla will spawn in it's place.
- Common in Cerveza Heights, Dukes.
- Common in Algonquin, Liberty City. Once Algonquin is unlocked, the Schafter isn't hard to find anywhere.
- In The Lost and Damned Gang Wars, the Russian Mafia version always appears, of course, when facing the Russians.
The Ballad of Gay Tony
- Considerably uncommon unless the player drives one.
- In a great majority of the missions for Gay Tony (or the Club Management missions), there will be a black Schafter that you drive to your destination. Simply fail the mission by killing someone that isn't supposed to die, then park it in your parking space. (This is useful for getting other colors to spawn too.)
- Mikhail Faustin can be seen riding in a unique Russian Mafia Schafter during the mission "The Master and the Molotov". It has black rims and a silver grille. This version can be found in TLAD Gang Wars involving the Russian Mafia.
- Jimmy Pegorino also owns a black Schafter, with black rims and a standard silver Schafter grille, featured in "Pegorino's Pride". If the player fails the mission repeatedly, the car may spawn in either a dark brown or burgandy color.
- Gay Tony owns one or more black Second Generation Schafters, which serve as chauffeured vehicles courtesy of Maisonette 9. It's his main car and also the very first car the player drives on TBoGT.
- Packie McReary owns a white Schafter as it may appear outside his home in "Waste Not Want Knots", and it also will appear if you fail the mission.
- It's possible that Rocco Pelosi owns a regular Schafter, which is seen during Party's Over.