1990 Mercedes 190E 2.5-16 Evo II
Era-defining DTM car
One of 500 built for homologation
41,934kms (26,056 miles) from new
One owner for 30 years
An ultimate ‘youngtimer’
If you were a 1990s businessperson in a hurry, there was only one car you needed: the 190E Evo II.
A road car built for homologation can usually fall into one of two categories. They are either rushed, poorly built and dangerously unrefined for street use, or they are so diluted and far removed from the car you saw take the chequered flag that you are left wondering what all the fuss was about. Either way, they can be a huge disappointment. Not however, this homologation car.
Introduced mid-way through the 1990 DTM season, the Evo II cranked the Mercedes campaign up a gear and took them to third in the championship in its inaugural half-season. A year later an Evo II took Klaus Ludwig to 2nd in the standings, just 8-points behind the Audi of Frank Beila.
In 1992 though, the Evo II was untouchable and took five of the top six championship places; a lone BMW M3 claimed an isolated 4th place surrounded by Mercs. Even at the end of its career among much younger machinery in 1993, the Evo II helped carry Roland Asch, Bernd Schneider and Klaus Ludwig to 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
The 255th of 500 built, this Evo II homologation special edition is no disappointment and exceeds expectations on every level. Firstly, there is the way it looks. Legend has it that BMW redesigned its wind tunnel after seeing the Evo II race car and none of the excitement has been lost on the road car. With its stunning "Blauschwarz" (blue/black) metallic bodywork devoid of any decals, and with number plates fitted instead of sponsors’ logos, it’s arguably even more dramatic.
Next there is the build quality, which is pure Mercedes-Benz and nothing has been compromised. The full-leather sports seats are both more supportive and comfortable than those found in a standard 190E. The centre console has a full accompaniment of switches including air-conditioning and electric windows and, with only 41,934kms (26,056 miles) from new, the interior wears its 30 years almost unnoticeably.
All but the first 1,000 of these kilometers have been covered by one collector-owner over the last 30 years. Speaking volumes for its ability to be an exciting ‘road-going’ race car, without the compromises that this usually entails, is the fact that this owner seems to have used this car more than almost any other in his truly world-class collection. So many of these cars have covered significant mileage, while a handful have covered so few that you would never want to drive them. But here is an example that offers the perfect balance of low miles and usability, which has been cherished in one of the world’s finest car collections.
Offered for sale publicly for the first time since new, this is the chance to acquire a fantastic example of Mercedes’ most radical road car since the Gullwing.