The next development stage came just one year later, with the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II. Again introduced at the Geneva Motor Show, the production car had a power output of 235 hp (173 kW) and even better performance. The designers had largely retained the suspension and brake systems, but the new car – the most powerful model in the W 201 series – was now given 17-inch wheels.
There were some clearly noticeable changes to the body to reduce air resistance and increase down force at the front and rear axles. The 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II had integrated spoilers at the front and rear bumpers, and the bodywork now included flared wheel arches integrated in the body and a very distinctive rear airfoil. The same number of just 502 units of the new model – known as the Evo II – was built in a few months. And like the predecessor, it was supplied with a blue black metallic finish.
The production version of the Evo II was converted for racing purposes by AMG at Affalterbach. Preparations for the second development stage for the 1990 racing season started in August 1989, while the first Evolution version of the 190 E was still in use on the racetracks. AMG entered the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II in its first race on the Nordschleife (North Loop) of the Nürburgring on June 16, 1990. Klaus Ludwig clinched the DTM champion’s title in 1992 with the works car prepared by AMG, with Mercedes-Benz topping the brand ratings. Ludwig had been runner-up in the DTM the previous year.