The “Baby-Benz” as a super sports car.
The 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II was an early highlight in the success story of exclusive sports saloons from Mercedes-Benz’s compact class. 25 years ago, this apogee of the W 201 model series thrilled professionals and the general public alike when it was unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show. The touring car developed for Group A racing on the basis of this sports saloon went on to acquire legendary status. Mercedes-Benz took the first three places in the DTM championship in the 1992 season with this vehicle, which was referred to succinctly as the “Evo II”. Today, the Evo II presents a fascinating spectacle as a works racing car from Mercedes-Benz Classic competing in historic motor sport events.
Compact, powerful and muscular: the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II exuded self-assured sporting prowess at its premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show in March 1990 – and not without reason: the sports saloon provided the basis for the new Group A racing tourer with which Mercedes-Benz competed in the German Touring Car Masters. At the same time, the Evo II was also a particularly powerful protagonist in the strategic product initiative which the Stuttgart-based brand was rolling out at the time. 25 years ago, the sports saloon laid the foundations for the special tradition of high-performance vehicles such as are offered by Mercedes-AMG today – culminating in the C-Class in the current C 63 S of model series 205 rated at 375 kW (510 hp).
The Evo II did justice to its appearance by virtue of a further development of the 2.5-litre oversquare engine adopted from the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution, which had demonstrated excellent stability irrespective of rpm variations ever since its introduction in 1989. The engine’s output had been raised once again in comparison to the first Evolution model from the previous year, the Evo II now generating 173 kW (235 hp) of power as opposed to the previous 143 kW (195 hp). The top speed was 250 km/h, and the Evo II accelerated from a standing start to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds.
The body had also undergone further refinement on an aesthetic and technical level. The Evo II chassis, which had been modified for racing use, was fitted with 17-inch wheels (as opposed to 16-inch), for example. The vehicle’s aerodynamics were improved by new front and rear bumpers with integrated spoilers, wheel arch flaring integrated into the line of the body and the highly pronounced rear aerofoil.
In all, 502 units of the Evo II were produced - available exclusively in blue black metallic. At the time of its original presentation the Evo II was priced at DM 115,259.70, or DM 119,717.10 with air conditioning.