Mercedes-Benz 190E (W201) – 1982 – Silver – (155037004):
The W201 was Mercedes’ internal designation for the Mercedes 190 series sedans. They were a highly popular range of front-engine, rear wheel drive ‘family saloons’ that were manufactured across a single generation, between 1982 and 1993. Throughout its eleven-year lifespan, production reached 1,879,629 models. It was the company’s first official compact class automobile.
Bruno Sacco, head of styling at Mercedes between 1975 and 1999, was overseeing the design of the W201, and it debuted at the 1982 Paris Motor show. It introduced a 5-link rear suspension that Mercedes would go on to use in their future C and E class models. The car was also fitted with front and rear anti-roll bars, anti-dive and anti-squat geometry. Pairing these safety features with an anti-lock braking system, along with the extensive use of light-weight high-strength steel enabled the car to withstand a concrete barrier offset crash at 35 miles per hour, without any serous passenger injury or structural damage to the cabin.
In 1983, Mercedes unveiled a performance variant of the W201, dubbed the 190E 2.3-16V. In the late 1970s, Mercedes was a big competitor in the rallying world, with their cantankerous V8-powered coupes of the R107 series, mainly the light-weight Mercedes 450 SLC 5.0. Mercedes had a vision of the 190E rallying, and so they asked Cosworth to develop an engine capable of putting out 320 horsepower.
Meanwhile, the Audi Quattro was dominating the rally stage with its all-wheel drive system together with a turbocharged engine, and so the 190E seemed to be utterly outclassed. But Mercedes are notorious for their relentless efficiency, and so they turned to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM), they German motor sport series, instead.
In this particular championship, cars were required to be based off of road-legal models, so Mercedes had to put a 190E fitted with a detuned version of the Cosworth engine into series production.
Three 190Es, only slightly adjusted aesthetically, had set three world records in August at the Nardo testing facility in Italy, recording a combined average speed of 154.06 miles per hour across the 50,000-kilometre endurance test, and claiming twelve global endurance records.