Group A Touring Car racing in the early ’90s was massive, and as just 500 Evolution models of any particular car had to be made to make them eligible for racing, some wild creations appeared on the road and track. One of the wildest of all was the Mercedes 190 Evolution II.
502 road-going versions of these cars were made to homologate the car for the German DTM championship, and while they were sold at a massive price tag, they still sold well. Featuring a radical, but fully-functional racing bodykit, wide arches and a giant adjustable rear wing, the effects of this kit not only significantly increased downforce, but reduced the drag coefficient to a super slippery 0.29; much to the amazement of their main rivals BMW.
All but two of these cars were produced in black; with the final two made in silver, and just like the rest of the car, the road car suspension and brakes were beefed up significantly to make it one hell of a sports saloon.
Under the bonnet wasn’t the eight, or twelve-cylinder engines we know Mercedes for today, but a short-stroke normally aspirated four cylinder, which, in the road cars, put out 232bhp. This may not sound like much today, but that was up there with the M3s and Cosworths of the time, and was enough to haul this relative lightweight around with speed, especially with its screaming 7,700rpm rev limit.
While this car was good in standard form, in full race tune it was nothing other than insane. The little four cylinder engine was designed to be capable of huge power, and pushed out a massive 393bhp at 10,500rpm in the DTM cars, and that’s without a turbo or any nitrous in sight. The short stroke engine could rev incredibly high, and it’s said the rev limit was around 12,500rpm! Incredible.
With limited numbers and the kind of looks that still stops traffic today, the 190 Evo II is true legend.
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