The E30 BMW M3 is often considered the icon of German touring-car racing. But some experts argue that Mercedes-Benz’s lesser-known 190E with the Cosworth engine is the better vehicle. And they may have a point as the 190E has its fair share of race wins in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft series. But no matter which one you like, both cars are now equally desirable in the eyes of collectors, which is evident in the eye-watering prices they command these days.
Such is the case with this 190E. In Mercedes-Benz’s world of simple product names, this thing has a rather convoluted one: 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II. That means it has the 2.5-liter 16-valve engine, and Evolution II denotes the limited-run, factory-tuned performance version of the model that comes equipped with goodies derived from race-spec vehicles. Only 502 Evo IIs were ever produced.
The Evo II’s Cosworth engine is good for 232hp and 245Nm. It can rev up to 7,800rpm thanks to bigger cylinders, revised intake and exhaust systems, and a short-stroke crankshaft, among others. But the wow factor of this thoroughbred 190E comes from its special bodykit designed by an aerodynamicist at the University of Stuttgart. The combination of the oversized rear wing, the window spoiler, and the adjustable front splitter reportedly generates a drag coefficient of just 0.29.
This 190E Evo II is the 473rd unit built, and is currently listed for sale at Speedart Motorsports in Florida. The listing is quite a detailed one as it tells the story about the car’s journey from Europe to the US, all of its optional extras, and even measurements of the paint job’s thickness as proof that the vehicle was lovingly cared for. Just make sure you have a spare $475,000 (P23.86 million) hiding under the couch.