Lot 278

Monterey 2024

1990 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II


$325,000 - $375,000 USD 

United States | Monterey, California



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Chassis No.
Serial No.
Engine No.
102992 10 000263
US Title
To be offered on Friday, 16 August 2024
  • The roadgoing version of AMG-Mercedes’ two-time championship-winning DTM touring car; among the most sought-after homologation specials
  • Delivered new to Switzerland; the 168th of only 502 examples produced
  • Retains its numbers-matching engine with fewer than 39,350 km (~24,450 miles) indicated at time of cataloguing
  • One of the most refined, engaging sports sedans ever made; a stellar product forged in the crucible of motorsport

Jointly developed by Mercedes-Benz, Cosworth Engineering, and AMG, the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II of 1990 is—despite its outrageous, adolescent visage—one of the most refined, directly engaging sports sedans ever made. It is a stellar product forged in the crucible of motorsport.

On track, the Evolution II dominated its domestic rivals, securing two consecutive German Touring Championship (DTM) constructors’ titles for AMG-Mercedes in 1991 and 1992. For its part as a homologation special, the roadgoing Evolution II has captivated enthusiasts and gawkers alike since its unveiling. Its pedigree and looks proved so beguiling that more than a few Mercedes-Benz dealers are guilty of having displayed an example in their showrooms for years after the end of its racing relevance.

The Evolution II offers an impressive 235 horsepower from its tightly wound 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The 16-valve head, engine management system, and five-speed “dogleg” transmission are all complementarily configured to encourage spirited, technical driving at high revs approaching the engine’s 7,800 rpm redline.

The model’s beefed-up chassis is further improved by Brembo four-piston brake calipers tucked inside 17-inch wheels, self-leveling suspension, and bodywork dressed in an aggressive aero kit that includes a towering rear spoiler, imposing fender flares, and adjustable front splitter. The Evolution II’s aero kit proved so effective that other DTM teams vehemently protested it, to no avail, and BMW’s Head of Research, Wolfgang Reitzle, reportedly claimed that “if that rear wing works, we'll have to redesign our wind tunnel."

This carefully preserved, Swiss-market Evolution II was delivered new to a dealer in Gordola, near Lake Maggiore during July 1990. It was then purchased by its first recorded owner on 1 April 1991 and registered in Lugano. Over the following 10 years, the car’s original owner travelled fewer than 4,000 kilometers per year, and by 2002 this car had joined a private Dutch collection—where it remained for the next 16 years.

In June 2016, it was purchased by the renowned marque specialist Mechatronik, and they furnished it with an extensive technical review, comprehensive servicing using OEM parts, and a fresh TUV certification.

In November 2018, this Evolution II joined a Mercedes-Benz dealer’s preeminent collection of post-war Mercedes-Benz models in America, at which time it indicated just a tick over 39,000 kilometers (~24,233 miles) on its odometer. As presented today, the car shows fewer than 39,350 kilometers (~24,450 miles) at time of cataloguing, and it remains wonderfully preserved throughout.

The ultimate development of Mercedes-Benz’s lauded W201-generation sedan, the 2.5-16 Evolution II’s success on the racetrack, incredible looks, and direct driving dynamics make it a hot-ticket item which remains covetously sought-after by marque aficionados.