Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II, the most powerful 190 E of all times, celebrates 25 years since was launched at Geneva Motorshow in March 1990.
The Evo II was a natural evolution of the 190 E 2.5-16. The engine’s output has been raised once again in comparison with the Evolution I launched one year before also at Geneva Motorshow. The Evo II version delivered 235 HP, compared with 195 HP for the Evo I.
The Evo II chassis, which had been modified for racing use, was fitted with 17 inch wheels and the aerodynamics were improved by new front and rear bumpers and wheel arch flaring integrated into the line of the body.
502 units were produced, available exclusively in blue black metallic. At launch, the price of Evo II was 115,259.70 DM or 119,717.10 with air conditioning.
The first sporty version of the 190 E 2.3-16 was presented at Frankfurt Motorshow in 1983 fitted with a detuned version of a Cosworth engine.
Mercedes found a clever marketing strategy to launch the 190 E 2.3-16 in 1984 with the occasion of F1 track opening at Nurburgring. The most famous F1 racing drivers and the almost unknown Ayrton Senna were invited to a race on the new track with the 190 E 2.5-16.
That special race was won by Ayrton Senna with car no. 11, followed by Niki Lauda, who started last on the start grid, Carlos Reutemann and Keke Rosberg.
In 1988 Mercedes-Benz entered the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) with the racing tourer developed from the series production and Roland Asch became vice-champion.
Meanwhile, the motorsport engineers from Mercedes-Benz were already working to the next generation 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution I (1989) and 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II (1990), based on the street version of the sixteen-valve model. 502 units of the each model were built in compliance with the requierements stipulated by the FIA regulations.
Evo II had its racing debut in DTM on 16 June 1990 on the North Loop of the Nurburgring. In 1990, Kurt Thiim took 3rd place in the DTM and in 1991 Klaus Ludwig finished on the second place. In 1992, Klaus Ludwig won the DTM championship ahead of Kurt Thiim and Bernd Schneider – all three driving a 190 E 2.5 16 Evolution II.
The last of the 502 Evo IIs was built in Bremen in May 1990. In March 2015, the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.6-16 Evolution II celebrated its 25th birthday.
Read here a fascinating comparison between Mercedes 190 E 2.5- 16 and BMW M3 E 30, the heroes of 80s.