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Published on July 21st, 2010 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Used 1986 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.3 16V review

Looking for a performance sedan that will beat most modern cars at the lights, carry your family of three and costs less than a new Korean sedan? One such car is the humble looking 1986 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.3 16V. These cars are expensive to purchase new and they are limited in numbers. Under the bonnet is a 2.3 liter four cylinder engine with twin overhead camshafts. Its light-alloy cylinder head, developed together with the British Cosworth company, had two camshafts, four V-shaped overhead valves per cylinder and pent-roof shape combustion chambers with a favorable geometry and spark plugs optimally located in the center. Precise mixture formation was ensured by mechanical Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection.

The engine developed 136 kW/185 hp at 6200/min and a torque of 240 Newton meters at 4500/min, giving the car acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h in 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 235 km/h. The engine was combined with a manual five-speed transmission tuned for sporty performance. Self-leveling suspension on the rear axle was a standard feature.

The bodywork was aerodynamically modified to match the car’s high performance. Front and rear aprons extended further down and a small spoiler on the trunk lid generated additional downforce. The tires were wider than those of the 190 E and were covered by flared wheelarch.

The DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) race series became popular around this time so Mercedes entered multiple cars after satisfying the rules stipulation that required 5,000 road going versions to be built.

Competition forced Mercedes Benz to enlarge engine capacity to 2.5 liters and eventually release a more advanced Evolution 1 and 2 versions with more aerodynamic aids and horsepower. At this point, the famous engine tuner, AMG, was called upon to create a team of their own.

Mercedes and AMG went on to win over 50 DTM races and numerous titles, which solidified their dedication to motor sports, which lives on to this day.

Now, finding one of these super cars for sale will take some waiting. A couple of dozen or so were imported in the late eighties and most were snapped as fast as they cleared customs. There are also some ‘fake’ looking ones running around modified with the help of junkyard parts taking from crash damaged cars and also with the help of local fiberglass bodykit installers. However there is nothing like the original!

Prices are subject to condition and I have personally come across some immaculate examples selling at around RM35,000 to RM50,000. Most would have been driven hard by its owners but should have also been maintained well. Cars like these are not for pottering around town and driving to the supermarket in weekends. They are weekend warrior machines.

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