1989 Mercedes 190E Cosworth Price £19,950
This Maltese Cosworth has escaped the vagaries of the British weather and thus rust, says Ross Alkureishi
This is the desirable 2.5-litre version of the 190E Cosworth DTM homologation special and was imported to the UK from Malta in 2013. It comes with the original sales brochure and service handbook. In its history file are receipts for services since landing here and also for a raft of recent work, including £1526.89 for two new shock absorber rams, a reconditioned hydraulic pump, new pipes, bleed and height reset to the self-levelling rear suspension. A new timing chain was fitted too and the clock reads 63,268km.
The Maltese climate has been kind to the body and it presents extremely well. It’s very clean on the underside, with no corrosion visible and up top has straight clean flanks with a nice lustre to the blue/black metallic paint. There are a few minor scuffs on the front spoiler but these have been touched in well; the rear boot spoiler has a small crease discernible only when the light hits at a certain angle. Also in the history file is a receipt from MB Guildford for panelwork on all four lower doors; it doesn’t state exactly what was carried out, but all fi t perfectly and their finish is expertly matched to the rest of the body. The black door handles have faded to grey.
Inside, a new dashboard and centre panel have been fitted, as well as new tops on all four door cards. The air-conditioning functions, as does the sunroof, and it has a fresh lock and key kit. The seats are still in tip-top condition with no signs of wear or tear present. Similarly well presented are carpets and headlining. The wood veneer around the gear lever and on doors is still good, and there are optional rear headrests and illuminating vanity mirrors. All electrics function as they should, except for the nearside front and offside rear windows but the vendor will rectify this prior to sale. Under the bonnet the engine is relatively dirt-free, there’s no evidence of any leaks. The oil is clean and to maximum mark, and the coolant fresh and again to correct level. All hoses and pipes remain in good condition. The original 15-hole Fuchs alloys are unscuffed and there is plenty of tread left on all four #Avon-ZV-5
The 16-valve unit starts first time and settles into smooth tickover. A refined unit, it feels bulletproof and pulls strongly from 2000rpm to its 6800rpm redline. The ’box shifts firmly and the brakes are strong, pulling up straight when called upon. The investment in the suspension means there are no gremlins and other than an as-normal firm ride, the car handles superbly.
Unlike its arch-rival the M3, it’s taken a little longer for the Cosworth to start feeling the love; but now Evo I and Evo II prices are disappearing over the horizon and 2.3-litre and 2.5-litre prices are firming. Now could be the time to buy.
Leather and cloth interior looks fresh from the showroom; carpets are top-notch too. 2.5-litre engine pulls strongly and smoothly once wound up – DTM dreams start here.
CHOOSE YOUR 190E W201
Homologation special released in 1984 featuring M102 four-cylinder 2.3-litre engine with a Cosworth dohc 16-valve cylinder head. Power is 185bhp and 0-60mph is hit in 7.5sec, with top speed 143mph. Four-speed automatic gearbox an option in 1985. Catalytic converter becomes an option in 1986, designed to run on 95 RON fuel and with power down to 170bhp, while US cars have a lower 9.7:1 compression ratio and 167bhp.
In 1988 the 2498cc unit replaces the old engine and power rises to 204bhp (194bhp in cat form). An automatic electronically controlled limited-slip differential replaces the old unit.
Evolution I arrives in March 1989. Revised engine (194bhp) and rear axle ratio combines with larger brakes, tyres, a sport exhaust and large rear spoiler to make it the fastest variant to date. Optional AMG power pack raises output to 225bhp.
1990 Evolution II has 235bhp, larger 17-inch tyres, improved brakes and aerodynamics. Production of 2.5-16 ends in 1993, with 5743 sold.
Car #1989 #Mercedes-Benz-190E-2.5-16V-Cosworth
Contact Charles Ironside, Alton, Hampshire (01420 520635, charlesironside.co.uk).
Engine 2498cc dohc 4-cyl
Power 194bhp @ 6750rpm
Torque 173lb ft @ 5000rpm
Performance Top speed 146mph, 0-60mph 7.7sec
Fuel consumption 23mpg
COMPREHENSIVE, 5000 MILES PER YEAR, GARAGED CALL: 01277 206911