Mercedes 190E Cosworth
I've always admired Mercedes cars especially the Mercedes 190E Cosworth. In the past, Mercedes have mostly projected a luxury image rather than a sporty image until the 190E 2.3 liter 16v model and the 190E 2.5 liter 16v Cosworth models were produced. The names Cosworth tagged onto the 190E is due to the fact that the engine was designed with help from the famous British race car engineering company called Cosworth.
The 190E Cosworth car was originally meant for rally racing and Mercedes Benz have to produce a certain number for sale to the public in order to qualify. However when the Audi Quattro was launched with 4 wheel drive, all the other 2 wheel drive cars had no chance at all. Mercedes knew that motor sports can lift its brand and having spent money and developed a competitive car turned its attention to the German Touring Car Championship series also known as Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM) instead.
If you intend to get a 190E, I suggest you get the Cosworth model rather than the usual model. Among the differences are:-
- dual overhead camshafts and 16 valves
- dfferrent steering ratio and smaller steering wheel
- more power, obviously
- suspension is lower and stiffer, it has quicker dampers, larger anti-roll bars, harder bushings
- limited slip differential
- self leveling rear suspension
- The Getrag 5-speed manual gearbox in racing shift pattern
The rare thing in this car is it has Recaro seats front and rear. Some car enthusiast will change the front seat to Recaro but very few will put rear Recaro seats into their cars. A bonus point if you plan to buy this car.
Getting a used 190E Cosworth in good condition will require patience. It won't be impossible since with changing situation, some are sold when the owners have enough fun and want to move on to another car.
Things to look out for is rust. Check under plastic in corners of trunk along with all along the fenders and back door sills. The other thing is the timing chain since a broken timing chain will result in expensive repairs. Engines for the 190E 2.5 liter Cosworth will come with 2 timing chains rather than 1 in 2.3 liter model. The 190E Cosworth is a fantastic car. Mercedes of that era are known to age well compared to modern cars that are made to break. There are large numbers of enthusiast clubs to help car owners.
In a time when cars are getting bigger and bulkier and less fun to drive, the 190E is a fun, fast car with a comfortable ride with a thoroughbred lineage. What else can you ask for.