This high-performance model was known as the 190E 2.3-16V, and debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September 1983, after its reputation had already been established. Famously, Ayrton Senna made his mark after winning against 19 other F1 legends in identical, very slightly modified 2.3-16’s at the newly redesigned Nurburgring in 1984. Senna was so taken with the car that he would later buy one with his own money (albeit at a 25% discount from Mercedes-Benz). These events helped cement the 190E Cosworth as a true driver’s car, and the cult appeal and practicality of this classic sports saloon has stood the test of time as shown by the current market.
Three cars, only slightly cosmetically altered, had set three world records in August at the Nardo testing facility in Italy, recording a combined average speed of 154.06mph over the 50,000km endurance test, and establishing twelve international endurance records. This was later updated to the 190E 2.5 16V in 1988. Apart from the performance increase over the standard 190E, there were other notable changes. The body-kit reduced the drag coefficient to 0.32, one of the lowest CD values on a four-door saloon at the time, whilst also reducing lift at speed. The steering ratio was quicker and the steering wheel smaller than that on other 190’s, whilst the fuel tank was enlarged from 55 to 70 litres. The Getrag 5-speed manual gearbox was unique to the 16-valve and featured a ‘racing’ gear pattern with a ‘dog-leg’ first gear.
Coys are delighted to present this rare and original low mileage 2.3-16V, which comes with a fully stamped Mercedes-Benz data card up to 42,000 miles. The vehicle has benefitted from a recent service after being kept in storage since 2005. Optional factory extras include automatic transmission, electric front seats and electric windows all round to name a few. Today, the car shows only 48,000 miles on the odometer as supported by documentation. Opportunities such as these to purchase a cult classic in unrestored condition are scarce and should not be missed by the serious enthusiast.