Classified of the week: stunning Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evo II

By topgear, 18 October 2019

What you see above is an absolutely flawless example of the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16V Evolution II – perhaps the coolest sports saloon ever produced, depending on what side of the M3 / 190 E debate you fall on, of course. 

As you’ll notice from the number plates, this one is currently for sale in Germany courtesy of the brilliantly-named Mechatronik dealership, and if you’ve got €300,000 (approx. RM1,396,307) burning a hole in your pocket (who doesn’t these days), there’d be no better way to spend it.

Earlier this week we brought you images of a restored 190 E touring car from the Land Down Under, but that was only the 2.3-litre engined racer. The Evo II is a whole different animal. 

It was initially unveiled at the 1990 Geneva Motor Show, a year after the Evo I had first seen the limelight at the same event. Both cars were road-going homologation specials with 502 units produced and a highly-tuned 2.5-litre version of the Cosworth engine under the bonnet – but the Evo II’s massive aero pack and 235bhp output means it takes the title of most desirable today.

Just look at it. That stance. Those arches. It’s literally a DTM racer for the road.

190e Evo 2
190e Evo 2
190e Evo 2

The Evo II didn’t just look good, though. A limited slip diff, higher rev limit and Getrag five-speed dogleg gearbox ensured it was extremely special. And if that wasn’t enough there was also a faster steering ratio, bigger brakes, wider front and rear tracks and stiffer adjustable suspension than ever before on a W201 variant.

Its performance on track also helped the Evo II’s legacy. In the 1992 DTM season, 190 Es took first, second and third place in the championship despite far more teams running M3s.

So, back to the classified at hand. This example has a ridiculously low 13,126km (8156 miles) on the clock and has been garaged for most of its life. It wasn’t just stuck in a shed and left to rot, though. The one owner was German racing driver and entrepreneur Hans Jürgen Tiemann, who ran his own racing team in the 1990s. According to the advert, Hans had his race mechanics professionally maintain this Evo II as it sat in the garage next to his DTM racer. 

Life is just unfair sometimes isn’t it?