1990 Mercedes-Benz 190 2.5-Liter Evolution II

This extraordinary Mercedes was acquired by The Patrick Collection from the Mercedes-Benz press office fleet, and has covered just over 16,000 carefully-maintained miles. It is one of just six examples exported to Britain of the Mercedes-Benz Evolution II out of a total production run of only 502.

Launched at the March 1990 Geneva Salon, the left-had-drive-only homologation special was an instant sell-out, even at its price of over $86,000, which was some $34,300 more than the standard 2.5 – 16 version of the Mercedes 190.

With its spectacular rear wing, the “Evo II” was designed for the German Touring Car Championship. It carried the most spectacular rear wing seen on a production car since the days of the 1969 Dodge Daytona and 1970 Plymouth Superbird.

The aerodynamics of the 190 Evolution II were developed by Professor Richard Eppler of Stuttgart University – known as the “Wing Pope” – who managed to create positive downforce at both ends of the car, giving vastly improved road-holding. The idea behind the two rear wings was that they were adjustable for racing and could be varied to suit the conditions at particular circuits, as would the front skirt.

Remarkably, though it had been created within such an uncompromising set of parameters, the “Evo II” turned out to be a very civilized 155 mph road car that road testers found “far easier to drive very, very quickly than the production model, with remarkable grip and astonishing braking power.” Its 16-valve twin-cam four-cylinder engine had been extensively reworked, with the rotating masses lightened, lubrication improved and inlet and exhaust timing altered to give blistering performance. This example is in excellent condition having been in The Patrick Collection up until November 1994. It was acquired by the present owner from the collection and has been carefully maintained since.