A new star is born.
August 1983: shimmering heat hangs heavily over the world’s fastest car circuit, the Pista di Nardò in southern Italy. Drenched in sweat, a driver clambers out of a Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16. After the record drive at an average speed of 247.939 km/h, the ground under his feet feels almost unreal to Robert Schäfer. This is a historic moment. The jubilant engineers, test drivers and technicians of the “Red” test team are in each other’s arms. Covering a distance of 50,000 km in 201 hours, 39 minutes and 43 seconds, Mercedes-Benz had set three world records and nine class records in the previous few days. The star of the event was undisputably the “190”: this moment marked the international breakthrough for the predecessor to the C-Class.