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, sporting a much more "luxurious" look.
In GTA IV, the Schafter is similar in design to a W220 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but was modified to appear with a smaller body and less flamboyant fascias. In The Ballad of Gay Tony, the Schafter may also appear in a second, more modernized appearance, with a general body design similar to that of a W221 Mercedes-Benz S-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.
In GTA IV, the Schafter, powered by a 6.5L supercharged V-12 coupled to a 5 speed gearbox in RWD configuration, is quite a heavy vehicle. Acceleration is below average, compared to other vehicles in its class, such as the Oracle and Presidente. Top speed is average, and enjoyable: 150 km/h (90 mph). 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 superb; the car can sustain multiple impacts (including gunfire) before breaking down or catching fire.
The performance of TBOGT's second Schafter is significantly superior over that of the Schafter, featuring a well performing powertrain that provides significantly good acceleration and top speed, and a body, while heavier, is light enough to allow improved braking and cornering.
A tuned version of the Schafter, based on the Mercedes-Benz S65 "AMG" models is commonly found in Hove Beach, Broker, being driven by the Russian Mafia. It comes in silver or black, and has black rims, sport body kit, and no front emblem. However, the Russian Schafter can be resprayed to any colour. The black rims can also be recoloured back to the standard silver.
Similarly, the Ballad of Gay Tony's Schafter 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 iteration of the regular Schafter also serves as the basis for a limousine dubbed the "Stretch E".
- In the opening scene of Grand Theft Auto IV, some Triad gangsters are seen loading the heroin into a black Schafter. The same car is seen being lowered onto the dock while Niko Bellic is waiting for Roman. Mikhail Faustin is being driven in a Schafter in the Mission "the Master and the Molotov".
- In the final mission of GTA IV, (Deal), A Revenger's Tragedy, a rare Russian Mob Schafter can be found at the abandoned Alderney Casino. It is the Russian Mob variant, with black rims, but has a dark red paintjob. No matter how many times the player will drive a Schafter into a Pay 'n' Spray, the car will remain the same color.
- There is a particularly rare color variant of the Schafter with a silver body and black rims; Schafters of this coloration 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 and IF99 - International Funk in The Ballad of Gay Tony.
- The name Schafter is probably a reference to the word "Shafter".
- Schafter in GTA IV and TLAD
- 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.
- 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.
Schafter in TBOGT
- 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. (Note: This version can be found in TLAD Gang Wars involved Russian Mafia.)
- Jimmy Pegorino also owns a black Schafter, with black rims and a standard silver Schafter grille, featured in "Pegorino's Pride".
- Gay Tony owns one or more black redesigned Schafters, which serve as chauffeured vehicles courtesy of Maisonette 9. It's his main car.
- Patrick 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.