One of the most iconic touring cars of all time is making a comeback.
If you were an avid fan of touring car racing back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, you’re probably familiar with the W201 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16, one of the most iconic touring cars of all time. Following its success on the track, Mercedes built two upgraded Evolution models to compete with the E30-series BMW M3. First shown at the 1990 Geneva Motor Show, the final Evo II model was restricted to just 502 units for homologation purposes. It has a huge fanbase, and now the Evo II is making a comeback 17 years after its racing debut.
Mercedes-Benz Classic has built an authentic copy of the Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evo II matching the specifications from its Group A racing heyday for use at historic racing events. Visitors of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Trackdays at Zolder and Oschersleben, for example, will be able to see the souped-up sedan tackle the track. Built as a rival to the BMW M3, the 190E 2.3-16 initially packed a 2.3-liter inline-four Cosworth engine producing 185-horsepower. A later model was upgraded to 2.5-liters, but the Evolution models were the most extreme of them all, with the Evo II being the most hardcore model.
Its AMG-sourced 2.5-liter four-cylinder pumped out 232-hp in the road-going version, while the racing variant produced 367-hp. The Evo II looked more aggressive too, thanks to larger fender flares, six-spoke 17-inch wheels, and a massive fixed wing, and enjoyed considerable success in the DTM championship. In 1992, racers Klaus Ludwig, Kurt Thiim, and Bernd Schneider secured a first-second-third place finish in the Evo II.