W201 190 – 1982-93

Classics Monthly - - Marque Guide Mercedes-benz – 1980-1999 -

In 1982 Mercedes-Benz threw a large set of met­ric span­ners into the com­pact ex­ec­u­tive car mar­ket with the in­tro­duc­tion of the W210 190 range. With well over £600 mil­lion spent on its de­vel­op­ment, the 190 was al­ways con­sid­ered ex­ten­sively over en­gi­neered and im­me­di­ately went head to head with arch ri­val BMW’s pop­u­lar 3-Se­ries. Known as the ‘Baby Merc’, the 190 fea­tured the same so­phis­ti­cated rear five-link sus­pen­sion set up as found on its big­ger E-Class sib­ling.

Dur­ing its pro­duc­tion run, the 190 (again, the E suf­fix was used on fuel in­jected examples) came with what at first sight ap­pears to be a con­fus­ing range of en­gines, rang­ing from the en­try level 2.0 litre in­line-four and ris­ing through the ranks to a pair of barn­storm­ing 16 valve 2.3 and 2.5 Cos­worth tuned units. To ho­molo­gate the 190 for mo­tor sport, a small num­ber of now very de­sir­able Evo­lu­tion I and II mod­els were pro­duced.

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