50 years of AMG – history and best cars of the Mercedes tuner and race team

Mercedes-Benz 190E 3.2 AMG

As AMG became more successful on the track its road cars got more attention. A prime candidate to be fettled and tweaked by AMG was the road-going four-cylinder 16-valve 190E, and it provided a power pack that increased the output of the 2.5-16 and Evolution I model’s engine. But it didn’t limit itself to just the four-cylinder car, and in true AMG style, it found a way of squeezing as big an engine as possible into the small saloon. The result was the 190E 3.2 AMG, fitted with a 234bhp 3.2-litre straight-six – an engine a whole 0.6-litre bigger than the one Mercedes thought appropriate. This was the first time an AMG was sold directly from Mercedes dealerships, too, perfectly complementing the company’s new on-track partnership.

Few things about the 190E 3.2 AMG scream that this is a performance car; there’s no overtly aggressive styling and none of the dramatic noises that sporty modern cars have conditioned us to think necessary.

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What can be said for the 3.2 AMG is just how refined it is; what it lacks in aggression it makes up for in serenity. Wind and engine noise is surprisingly low for a car from 1988, while the soft suspension help creates a very plush ride. It would make a pleasant autobahn cruiser, and once you’d got it up to speed it would be easy to maintain a decent pace.

Categories: EVO

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