Being one of the most famous sleepers of the 1980s, the 190E with the Cosworth-developed 2.3-16V engine is a desirable sport sedan, rapidly gaining value and appreciation among enthusiasts. This specific example is finished in Smoke Silver paint, and sports a manual transmission, headrests and a rare electrical sunroof. Why deprive yourself of the pleasure to have a timeless German piece of automotive history in your garage? This could be your shot!
Officially making its debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September 1983, the 190E 2.3-16V was the first sports version of the W201 series. Powered by the M102 2.3L inline-four DOHC 16-valve engine block with custom Cosworth cylinder head, the heart is drives the rear wheels viaa five-speed Getrag Manual transmission.
Fitted from the factory with a body kit that reduced the 190E’s drag coefficient to 0.32 (one of the lowest CD values on a four-door saloon at the time), the 2.3-16V was later cosmetically and mechanically modified to establish many different world records at the Nardò testing facility in Italy as well as many international endurance records; in 1988 it was then replaced by a the 190E 2.5-16V, featuring a slightly larger engine.
This specific car, with its Smoke Silver (one of only two available colors) paint still in pristine condition, has a 5-speed manual gearbox, mint and original flat-face 15-hole alloy wheels, and offers the following additional equipment:
The wheels are wrapped in Dunlop Sport Fastresponse Outside 205/55R18, reported by the current owner to be in good condition.
This 190E 2.3-16V is generally in very good order, since the paintwork has recently undergone a complete polish. Only minor flaws remain, as the hood and the rear bumper show respectively a single round opaque spot and some minor scratches. Otherwise, the wheels and the exterior barely show their age, as displayed in the gallery below.
As for the interiors, the displayed Benz appears completely original. Specifically trimmed with the checked fabric on the facings of the leather seats and on the door cards, the upholstery is in a fair to good condition with no heavy sign of damage, other than some snagging on the driver’s seat base and the typical wear on the remaining parts nearby.
The rare electrically-operated sliding sunroof appears to work well. Original steering wheel and gear knob are also present and the seller reports all instruments work as expected. The cabin is equipped with headrests, and the dashboard shows no signs of crack or heavy duty; the six-digit mechanical odometer shows around 91’000 km.
Mechanically, this 2.3-liter 16-valve M102 inline-four sports a Cosworth-designed alloy cylinder head and dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) and it is presented in a general good condition, suggesting proper care and maintenance by the previous owners. The underside shows no sign of rust and the car is said to always having been parked and kept indoors under controlled climate. Additional photos of the underbody can be found in the gallery. The vendor reports that the car starts, runs and drives very well.
Reportedly completed at the factory in late 1987 and first registered in Germany in 1988 by a car merchant, the displayed Mercedes has been owned since 2018 by its current and third owner, who previously acquired it from a Italian owner.
The current purchase of this preserved 190E includes a proper documentation state, ownership certification, user manual, service book and the original keys.