autoevolution

Extremely Low Mileage Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II Goes for Auction

A quarter of a Century ago, Mercedes-Benz was still trailing behind BMW, but back then it wasn’t the global sales numbers the two brands were fighting over: no, it was a lot more personal than that.
Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II 14 photos
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The two brands were clenched in a fierce on-track rivalry in touring car championships across Europe, and since BMW had the magnificent E30 M3, Mercedes-Benz needed to find an appropriate answer. The 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution model just couldn’t cut it, so a newer, more powerful car had to be produced.

But Mercedes didn’t just give the Evo II more power, it also made it look the part. During a time when the German brand was a perfect synonym for conservativeness, seeing the aggressive body kit strapped on top of an otherwise benign-looking sedan is probably half the reason this car gained the legendary status it has. The other half goes down to the vehicle’s performances and achievements.

Launched in 1991 at the Geneva International Motor Show, the second generation of the Evolution model was indeed a big success, with the race car based on the limited production car filling up all three top spots in the following DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft) season.

Only 502 Evolution II were ever built for homologation purposes, this limited availability only adding to the car’s value. Two of the 502 were finished in silver, with the other 500 sporting the famous black paint. As the name suggests, they all had a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine massaged by Cosworth that provided a boost in power over the first generation Evolution model. The Mark II Evo came with 235 hp and a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph), the 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint needing an unimpressive by today’s standards 7.1 seconds.

Car number 262 of the 502 ever built is about to go under the hammer at Silverstone Auctions on February 27 (next Friday), and as if owning a legendary sedan weren’t enough, it comes with an extra incentive: it’s only got 2,772 kilometers (1,723 miles) under its belt. Considering the car has only been owned by collectors, it’s been taken good care of, so what you’re basically buying here is a 25-year-old new car.

Of course, all this comes with a price, and in the case of Lot No. 411 of the Race Retro Classic Car Sale held by Silverstone Auctions, that cost is estimated somewhere between £140,000 and £160,000 ($197,000 and $225,000). There are a lot of cars you can buy for that money, but don’t be fooled into thinking that any of them is more special than this one.

 
 
 
 
 

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