1990 Mercedes-Benz 190 E2.5-16 Evolution II
Year of manufacture1990
Born from intense competition with BMW’s superb M3, the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 was the result of a partnership with famed engineering firm Cosworth. The W201 chassis was beefed up with larger anti-roll bars, harder bushings, limited-slip differential, quicker dampers, and a faster steering ratio. Getrag provided the five-speed dogleg gearbox to ensure fast and easy gear selection. Cosworth then took the standard 2.3-liter 8-valve engine and fitted a light alloy cylinder head, dual-overhead cams, and four valves per cylinder. Continued development resulted in an increase in engine displacement to 2.5-liters in 1988 and the homologated Evolution variants of the 190 Cosworth.
The initial “Evo” model overhauled the platform into a thoroughbred racer by installing a tuned version of the 2.5-liter motor. A higher rev limit, larger brakes, and improved tires meant the Evolution accelerated and stopped better than ever before. Further enhancements included a wider front and rear track, stiffer adjustable suspension, and revised bodywork. For the Evolution II model, the engineers squeezed out an impressive 232 horsepower. Uprated Brembo four-piston calipers were quick to bring the car to a halt. Visually, the true highlight of the Evo II is the aero kit that features a towering rear spoiler, imposing fender flairs, and an even more aggressive front splitter.
This Evo II offered here is the 146th of 502 built; it was delivered new to Mercedes-Benz Mannheim in April of 1990 complete with an intriguing suite of “touring” specifications. Clad in the standard shade of Blauschwartz Metallic over Anthracite leather, this example’s build record indicates the fitment of heated seats, an external temperature sensor, power sunroof, rear speakers, and a Panasonic radio with traffic bulletin decoder. The cabin of this Evo II also features an airbag steering wheel and cloth pepita seat inserts and door cards rarely seen in the model.
After several years of residence in its home market, this Evo II was exported to Japan. It was imported to the United States in 2015 and acquired by the consignor shortly thereafter. This fascinating homologation special from Mercedes-Benz is now offered for sale accompanied by its Japanese service manual, tool kit, spare wheel, jack, and three keys.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/az21.