1990 Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II
The legendary Evo II is not your average executive saloon. Mercedes-Benz was so intent on defeating BMW in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) that it took the design to extremes.
In response to FIA homologation regulations prohibiting aerodynamic enhancements beyond those on the road car, it equipped the Evo II with full-competition bodywork including massive fenders, aggressive skirts and a chin splitter low enough to mow lawns. The rear suspension was also made height adjustable for further downforce optimization.
To overcome regulations preventing any impediment of rearward vision, Mercedes raised the spoiler to unheard of heights and covered the top of the rear window to block any glimpse. This shockingly brash solution not only generates ample downforce, but delivers an impressive drag coefficient that increases maximum vehicle speed.
The 1990 release of the Evo II launched epic battles with BMW in the DTM that are still celebrated by enthusiasts today. The AMG-modified Evo II took third place in its first season at Nürburgring and steadily progressed to sweep first, second and third positions in the 1992 DTM Championship.
In the road version, intimidating looks are matched by the powerful performance of a DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder engine with Mercedes block and Cosworth cylinder head. Through various advances, Mercedes raised the redline to 7700rpm and boosted horsepower to 235hp at the 7200rpm sweet spot where drivers like to keep it during heated competition.
With help from the close-ratio five-speed manual transmission, it goes from 0-100 km/h in 7.3 seconds. However, response is practical for everyday use, with power that comes on smooth throughout the entire rpm range.
Handling is simply excellent thanks to features like front and rear anti-roll bars, power-assisted ventilated disc brakes and a multi-link suspension. The height of the rear suspension can be adjusted to a low setting for tracks, a normal setting for regular roads, or a high setting for rough roads with the flick of a switch in the cockpit.
While the exterior is more functional than refined, the interior delivers the opulence of an executive saloon with beautiful black leather panels, supportive black leather Recaro seats and amenities like air-conditioning.
Lest you forget you are seated in a race-bred homologation special, take a peek at the one-of-a-kind build number (between 1 and 502) displayed on the gearshift. Or press the pedal hard and hear the engine wail like a banshee.
As a favorite among car collectors, with only 502 produced, the highly desirable Evo II is not always easy to find. The good news is that March 2015 marked its 25th birthday, so Americans can now import them without troublesome restrictions.
The beautiful Evo II in the photograph (build number 201) was recently acquired by JCD in Japan at a reasonable price. From beautiful “blauschwarz” blue/black metallic finish to black leather interior, nearly every detail looks new.
At Japan Car Direct, we source vehicles from dealers across Japan to give our customers around the world an incredible selection of used cars to choose from. Our dedicated team can help you locate your favorite models, negotiate the purchase from a dealer, auction or private seller, arrange for a professional inspection and have the vehicle shipped to your nearest port whether in Germany, the United States, Australia or anywhere in the world. We do our best to make every step a pleasurable experience.