25 years of the Mercedes 190 E Evo II

Happy quarter-century to this fine-looking Merc.

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The Geneva Motor Show this year marked 25 years since Mercedes-Benz hit the jackpot. In 1990, the German manufacturer used the Swiss show to unveil the greatest version of the W201, and instantly created a classic – the 190 E 2.6-16 Evolution II.

The unveil followed many years of development of the W201, or “Baby Benz”, which had been first introduced in 1982 and was the precursor to the C-Class. It already had a smoking-hot variant – the 190 E Evolution, unveiled (also at Geneva) in 1989. That was a direct response to BMW’s M3 Sport Evolution, which was kicking ass in the German touring car series, DTM. Mercedes needed a homologation road car to allow the building of a race car, and so the already-potent 190 E 2.5-16 Cosworth was given a boost of steroids. With wide arches and a massive rear spoiler, it also boasted numerous mechanical upgrades to brakes and suspension, as well as a short-stroke engine that gave more top end power.

But that wasn’t enough for Mercedes – it wanted more. And so the Evolution II was born. The 2.5-litre engine was worked harder, putting out 232bhp compared to 192 for the Evo I, giving it a 0-100kph time of 7.1 seconds. The race-optimised chassis was given bigger 17-inch wheels, and the aero was improved by new front and rear bumpers that had spoilers integrated into the design. The wheel arch flares flowed into the body and the big rear wing.

Once again, 502 road-going units were produced – all in blue-black metallic paint. And once the final road car rolled off the Bremen production line in May 1990, AMG took over, converting the vehicles into race cars. These monsters had 368bhp and were lighter than their road-going siblings, with bonnet, boot lid and spoiler made from plastic. By 1992, the race cars were so advanced that they took the first three places in the DTM championship.

Today, an Evo II road car will cost you a pretty penny – if you can find one. Most of them are in the hands of private collectors, and sales are rare. In January, a dealer in The Netherlands advertised number 473 of 502 for just shy of $180,000. Still want one?

Maybe this new video from Mercedes – which pits the Evo II against the brand new C 350 e – may give you a push in the right direction…

Source – Mercedes-Benz

Categories: Road


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