Rally Inspired: ’87 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3 16V Cosworth
Back in the late 1970s, Mercedes competed in rallying with the big V-8-powered Coupés, the light-weight 450 SLC 5.0. Mercedes wished to take the smaller 190 E rallying, and asked British race car engineering company Cosworth to develop an engine with 320 bhp for the rally car. This project was known as project “WAA’ by Cosworth. Mercedes had to put into series production a 190 fitted with a detuned version of the Cosworth Rally engine. This high-performance model was known as the 190 E 2.3-16, and debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1983. Due to their performance, the 16-valve cars were different from the other 190 models. The body kit on the 2.3-16 and 2.5-16 reduced the drag coefficient to 0.32, one of the lowest CD values on a four-door sedan of the time. The steering ratio was quicker and the steering wheel smaller than that on other 190s. The Getrag 5-speed was unique to the 16-valve and featured a ‘racing’ gear pattern with ‘dog-leg’ first gear. The four-seater interior has Recaro sports seats with strong side bolsters for front and rear passengers. Three extra dials – an oil temperature gauge, stopwatch and voltmeter – were included in the center console. The suspension on 16-valve models is very different from the standard 190. As well as being lower and stiffer, it has quicker dampers, larger anti-roll bars, harder bushings and hydraulic self leveling suspension on the rear. This allows the rear ride height to remain constant even when the car is fully loaded. We don’t see too many Cosworths so when Arthur B. sent us this one from a Mercedes Forum we looked further. It is a pretty nice one with lots of miles but also lots of mechanical work. The car is accident free and hasn’t been abused or used as a track car. The seller reveals these flaws – the cruise control is non-functional and the body has a few scratches. The asking price is $8,000 and this Cosworth might be one to take a look at. Read much more at the forum posting by clicking here.