Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 Cosworth
- Mileage: 44,535
- Year: 1985
- MOT Expiry: July 2020
- Exterior Colour: Blue-Black Metallic
- Interior Colour: Black Leather
- Top speed: 144
- 0-60mph: 7.3
- BHP: 182
- Transmission: 5-Speed Dogleg Manual
- Engine Capacity: 2299cc
- Engine Configuration: Inline 4
The Mercedes Benz 190 model name was first introduced in 1953 and has taken many different disguises until its final replacement in the form of the C series in 1993. The final incarnation of the 190 was the W201 chassis. £600 million was rumoured to have been spent developing the model, enough to have seriously damaged Mercedes-Benz reputation and financial position had the car been a failure. Luckily this was not the case and Mercedes went on to sell approximately 1.8 million units worldwide.
The introduction of the special edition 2.3-16v model in 1983 came from Mercedes-Benz's desire to re-enter motorsport with a direct factory team after their retirement following the tragic events at the 1955 Le Mans race. Enlisting the help of the British engineering firm Cosworth, Mercedes had plans to take the 190E to the rally circuit, however the project suddenly became unrealistic when Audi released the turbo charged, four-wheel drive Quattro, in effect beating the 190E before the race had even started! Mercedes not wanting to lose their financial investment in development ditched plans for the rally circuit and turned their attention to the German touring car championship.
The Cosworth engine was based on the 2.3-litre 8-valve already fitted to models in the range. Cosworth added an alloy head with twin overhead cams and 4 valves per cylinder boosting power to 185bhp and 174lb-ft. The car proved incredibly robust, with three cars only cosmetically altered completing a 50,000 km endurance test at the Nardo testing facility averaging 154.06mph and earning Mercedes three world records and nine international endurance records.
The 190E Cosworth featured a bodykit that reduced the drag coefficient to 0.32, one of the lowest figures for a four-door saloon at the time. The steering wheel was smaller and the steering ratio quicker than other 190Es. The Getrag 5-speed manual ‘dog-leg' box was standard, with the option of an automatic box along with a full leather interior. A limited-slip differential was standard on the 2.3-16v with the option of ASD – an electronic system that hydraulically controls the amount of lock in the diff, ranging from the standard 15% lock right up to 100%!
Blue-Black Metallic paintwork, Black leather upholstery, Five-speed manual transmission, 15-inch alloy wheels, Electric tilt and slide sunroof, Electric windows front and rear, Electrically operated passenger door mirror, Fire extinguisher, Headlamp wash/wipe, Leather covered steering wheel and gearshift, Lockable glove box, Central locking, Power assisted steering, Anti-lock braking system (ABS), Rear centre armrest, Rear head restraints, Heat-insulating green glass, Blaupunkt Grand Prix CD player, Electric aerial, First aid kit, Spare wheel, Jack, Mercedes tool roll, Spare keys.
This early 190E Cosworth is finished in glossy Blue-Black Metallic – a superb, understated colour well suited to the car’s boxy physique. Under the glare of our studio lighting the bodywork shows a lovely deep shine, with no unsightly blemishes to speak of aside from some expected light stone chips at the front end. Looking closer, all the panels are straight and there is no damage to any of the trims, bumpers, or bodykit – all in all, a highly impressive and very collectable low mileage example.
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The interior space is particularly sharp. Spec’d with the rare option of full black leather the cabin is a great place to be, the upholstery still notably fresh throughout – even to the driver’s bolster. Cast an eye over the dashboard and you'll notice a deep texture remains, with no cracks or sun damage to be found. Finer details, such as the console switchgear and lacquered wood trim, are in perfect condition; the leather steering wheel and gearknob are also pristine. At the rear, the seats show few signs of use and the boot area is very tidy, free from damp, and still housing the spare wheel, jack, and Mercedes tool roll. The only non-original item to report is a later style Becker Grand Prix CD player – the Grand Prix cassette player was a factory option for the 190E, making this a very sensible and in-keeping upgrade.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Often these cars suffer from cold start issues but with this example the 2.3-litre engine fires into life first turn of the key and ticks over smoothly. Equipped with the desirable five-speed ‘dogleg’ manual the car is a real joy to drive, and perhaps one of the finest we’ve driven here at 4 Star. The engine pulls extremely well through the gears and inside the cabin there are no annoying squeaks, rattles or knocks to be heard.
The Mercedes has been serviced at the following mileages: 879, 4k, 5k, 12k, 20k, 24k, 33k, 39k, and most recently at 43k miles in February 2019. Upon arrival at 4 Star the car was fully inspected and given a clean bill of health. The MOT is valid until July 2020.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
Filling those boxy arches are the original 15-inch Mercedes alloys, all in perfect condition having been fully refurbished to the highest standard. The wheels are shod in a matching set of Goodyear tyres with plenty of tread remaining. On test the brakes feel capable and strong, pulling the car up smoothly and in a straight line.
This low mileage 2.3-16 Cosworth was first registered in November 1985. Within the History File you’ll find the original Mercedes document pack complete with all manuals, the stamped service booklet, factory data card, and two spare keys; a raft of invoices and MOT certificates is also present.
Although the V5C shows three former keepers, the car is essentially a two-owner example. The first owner, Mr Geoff Hughes, collected it directly from Stuttgart in November 1985. In 1993 it was registered to his wife when he setup a new business and wished to protect his assets from the risks of business failure; two years later it was registered back to him. The current owner, a collector of rare and low mileage Mercedes-Benz, purchased the car from Mr Hughes back in July 2018.
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