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 154.06 mph 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 190s, 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. The steering ratio is quicker and the steering wheel smaller than that on other 190s, whilst the fuel tank is enlarged from 55 to 70 litres.
But most important is the engine. It offers double-row timing chains to fix the easily snapping single chains on early 2.3 engines, and an increased peak output by 17 bhp (13 kW) with a slight increase in torque. The car delivers up to 204 hp (152 kW; 207 PS) Mercedes were not keen to publicise the fact that their most capable saloon had an engine developed by a British company. However some cylinder heads from 2.5 L cars were found to be stamped with the Coscast logo indicating they were cast at Cosworth’s foundry just like the 2.3 L cars. Cosworth also list the project code ‘WAB’ for the development of the 2.5-16-valve head just as they do for the 2.3-16-valve head.
This clean example has been nicely kept over the years, and is well presented in Pearl Black with a matching black leather interior. Notably our Cosworth is fitted with the much sportier and more desirable 5-speed ZF manual gearbox, which when combined with the high revving multi-valve four cylinder motor provides an exhilarating driving experience. A great driving car and one of our favourites of this era.