1990 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II

To keep competitive in the Group A Touring Car Championship, Mercedes unveiled the 2.5-16 Evolution II at the 1990 Geneva Motor Show. The most radical departure from the standard 190 was its body kit which included an outrageous rear wing, probably the largest ever fitted to a Mercedes four door.

At the time, Group A homologation dictated that the aerodynamic devices of the race car were limited to those on production version. So the Evolution II retained the full competition bodywork including its unusually tall rear wing that was necessary as the regulations didn’t allow the wing to impede rearward vision. So, the clever engineers put a cover over the top of the rear windscreen so that the tall wing couldn’t be seen.

While the larger wheel flares and front dam did their best to match the rear wing, the interior of the 190E was all business. Opulent wood finishes and leather seats did little to remind the driver that this was competition-derived special. Curiously, a special knob was provided to offer three different ride heights.

Under the hood, nothing was substantially altered from the standard 190 2.5-16, however Mercedes-Benz changed the compression ratio, valve lift, timing, intake tract and exhaust to help the car reach 232 bhp compared to the normal 195.

The chassis was correspondingly upgraded with larger brakes, a harder suspension, 17 inch wheels and the hydro-pneumatic adjustable ride height was left intact.

Over 502 cars were built, and all in a blue-black metallic paint scheme. The changes made to these cars were good enough for Klaus Ludwig to clinch the DTM driver’s title in 1992.

In Detail

tags w201, 190e
submitted by Richard Owen
type Series Production Car
built at Germany
production 502
price $ $ 72,960
engine M102 E 25/2 Inline-4
position Front Longitudinal
valvetrain DOHC, 4 Valves per Cylinder
fuel feed Bosch Mechanical Injection
displacement 2463 cc / 150.3 in³
bore 97.3 mm / 3.83 in
stroke 82.8 mm / 3.26 in
compression 9.7:1
power 173.0 kw / 232 bhp @ 7200 rpm
specific output 94.19 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 164.77 bhp per tonne
torque 245.4 nm / 181 ft lbs @ 5000 rpm
redline 7700
body / frame Unit Steel
driven wheels RWD
front tires 245/40ZR-17 Dunlop SP Sport D40
rear tires 245/40ZR-17 Dunlop SP Sport D40
front brakes Vented Discs w/Power Assist, ABS
rear brakes Vented Discs w/Power Assist, ABS
front wheels F 43.2 x 21.0 cm / 17 x 8.25 in
rear wheels R 43.2 x 21.0 cm / 17 x 8.25 in
steering Recirculating Ball w/Power Assist
f suspension MacPherson Struts w/Coil Springs, Tube Shocks, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspension 5-Link w/Coil Springs, Tube Shocks, Anti-Roll Bar
curb weight 1408 kg / 3105 lbs
wheelbase 2664 mm / 104.9 in
front track 1476 mm / 58.1 in
rear track 1476 mm / 58.1 in
length 4544 mm / 178.9 in
width 1720 mm / 67.7 in
height 1326 mm / 52.2 in
transmission 5-Speed Manual
gear ratios 3.25:1, 1.90:1, 1.32:1, 0.98:1, 0.71:1
final drive 3.85:1
top speed ~249.4 kph / 155 mph
0 – 60 mph ~7.0 seconds
0 – 1/4 mile ~15.5 seconds