W201 190 – 1982-93
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.