Competition breeds success. It’s a statement that rings true throughout racing history. And perhaps at no moment was it more relevant than in Germany during the late 1980s. That was an era that gave us tin-top legends such as the BMW M3, the Audi Quattro and this, Mercedes’ answer to both of them – the 190 Evo II.
This is not only the car that finally elevated Mercedes to the top of the DTM for the first time, but it’s also the model that cemented its relationship with tuning firm AMG. Without the joint working between Mercedes and AMG on this car, would the Silver Arrows even be in the sport today? Who knows – but the 190 Evo II is the granddaddy of it all, even if it was never designed to be a touring car.
The 190 actually required a trifecta of powerhouses to create – Mercedes, AMG and Cosworth. The story started in the mid 1970s when Mercedes was set on engineering the ultimate compact saloon. Between the first drawing boards in 1974 and its release in 1982, the project, codenamed W201, cost Merc an eye-watering £600m to develop. And what better way to show off the car’s capabilities as the best all-rounder available? Rallying.