The Evo II had its racing debut on the North Loop of the Nürburgring in the DTM on 16 June 1990. In the final race of the series at the Hockenheimring on 15 October 1990, all the works-supported teams were provided with the new vehicle. In 1990 Kurt Thiim took 3rd place in the DTM, and in 1991 Klaus Ludwig was runner-up.
In 1992 Ludwig won the DTM Championship ahead of Kurt Thiim and Bernd Schneider – all three driving a 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II. In the 1993 season, Roland Asch finished as runner-up in the successor to the Evo II, ahead of his team colleague Schneider.
In March 2015, the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II celebrated its 25th birthday.
To this day the young classic retains the fascinating allure that it first revealed when it was unveiled as a new compact sports saloon at the Geneva International Motor Show in 1990. This enduring appeal is particularly true of the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II configured by Mercedes-Benz Classic as a works racing car, which adds a special shine to historic motorsport in its appearances at Youngtimer Trophy meetings.