Back in 1989, the two main competitors on the European high-performance sedan market were the BMW M3 and the Mercedes-Benz 190E EVO II. The latter is considered by many as one of the most prominent sports cars of its era, bringing racetrack optimized performance levels to the public roads. And while this project features a vehicle that is the ordinary 2.3L 16V, not the EVO II model, the whole build is done in order to show tribute to the famed Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II. And judging by the look of this Matte Brown 190E, the EVO II look is achieved pretty damn good, if not entirely correct.
The Mercedes 190E was built in order for the German carmaker to be allowed to compete in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM) (German Touring Car Championship) motorsport series. To achieve that, the carmaker had to use a motorsport competitor derived from road-going vehicle models. In turn, Mercedes had to put the 190, fitted with a detuned version of the race-ready Cosworth engine, into serial production. The result is the performance model known as the 190 E 2.3-16V that debuted in September at the 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show. To add to the already growing fame of the 190E, Mercedes used three of these cars, only slightly cosmetically altered, to set three world records in August at the Nardo testing facility in Italy, where they recorded a combined average speed of 154.06 mph (247.94 km/h) over the 50,000 km endurance test, and establishing twelve international endurance records.
In the roadgoing trim, the 190E’s 2.3-liter 16-valve engine generated a maximum power output of 185 hp and 174 lb-ft (236 Nm) of torque. The vehicle could accelerate from 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in less than eight seconds, going to a top speed of 143mph (230km/h). Additionally, all Mercedes 190E 2.3-16-valve 190 models are fitted with a Limited Slip Differential (LSD) as standard. They were also available with Mercedes’ ASD system, which is an electronically controlled, hydraulically locking differential which activates automatically when required. The electronic control allows varied amounts of the differential lock from the standard 15% right up to 100%. While it isn’t a traction control system like we have it these days, as it can only maximize traction rather than prevent wheel spin, it still helped with the traction of the vehicle in certain highly dynamic driving situations.
For the exterior, the Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 had a body kit that reduced the drag coefficient to 0.32, one of the lowest CD values on a four-door saloon of the time, which also resulted in a reduced lift at speed. Overall, the vehicle came with extraordinary looks right from the factory floor. However, this Mercedes 190E owner added a few personal touches, making his 190E resemble the famed 190E EVO II models.
As you’ll see from the gallery below, the most prominent addition to this build are the MOMO Heritage 6 wheels in Matte Bronze, fitting the design language of the era nicely. Overall, these wheels take a lot of its design lingo from the motorsport-inspired MOMO wheels of the 1970s and 1980s, making it a perfect choice for a build like this one. And while this may not be an EVO II model, this old school German machine, even if detouring slightly from the targetted look, appears quite clean and well-kept, in turn, making it wallpaper worthy. Thus, grab some high-quality images of this beautiful Matte Brown Mercedes 190E for your desktop right below.