Mercedes-Benz 190E 'Cosworth' (1985 – 1993) Review

Mercedes-Benz 190E 'Cosworth' (1985 – 1993) At A Glance


+Sports version of a very solid car

-Eventual rust, and by 2007 most survivors had seen an eventful life

The Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 'Cosworth' made its first appearance at the Frankfurt motor show in September 1983, and as a homologation special for the DTM touring car version. Although the 190 looked great thanks to its subtle and well-executed body kit, its Cosworth-developed engine that made it truly special. it was based on the M102 four-cylinder 2.3-litre 8-valve, but thanks to Cosworth's engineering excellence, the new cylinder head improved breathing and efficiency, giving the new car 149bhp out of the box in road trim.

Although performance wasn't electrifying compared with future rivals, the BMW M3 and Ford Sierra RS Cosworth, with a 0-60mph time of 7.8 seconds and a maximum speed of 143mph, it was more than enough to help transform the 190E's rather pedestrian image. Handling was also excellent, helped in no small way by a standard-fit limited slip differential. It was further improved in 1988 with the arrival of the 2.5-litre version with 200bhp form - and it's this model that enthusiasts prefer today, given the far more potent performance. Evolution I and II models gained wild aerodynamic spoilers, and more tuning options, and are worth considerably more today. But values continue to lag signifcantly behind those of the BMW M3.