MERCEDES-BENZ 190E 2.3-16
Germany, 1984. The new Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft championship for FIA Group A cars is held for the first time. To participate Mercedes-Benz created a high-performance variant of its 190 E.
Its name is 190E 2.3-16. Its production already started in 1984, when the company tested several road samples to obtain homologation for participation in the championship.
Its design features a new body kit and new alloy wheels. The car also has a four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz M102.983 2.3 16V engine managed by a 5-speed manual transmission combined with rear-wheel drive.
Capable of delivery of 185 hp with a torque of 235 nm, the engine allowed the 2.3-16 to reach a top speed of 230 km / h accelerating from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.5 seconds.
Test Drive of the 190E 2.3-16
MERCEDES-BENZ 190E 2.3-16 RECORD
Before being officially put on the market the 190E 2.3-16 went through several tests. In 1983 on the Nardò circuit the car established new category records and allowed to conduct studies on the effects of stress and fatigue on drivers.
Compared to the model produced in series, the Record variant equipped cleaner aerodynamics thanks to the removal of the rear-view mirrors and the fairing of the front air intakes to allow it to reach a maximum speed of 250 km / h.
Instead, a new 160-litre tank, new sports suspension, an injection-ignition system, a mechanical steering and a new radiator were mounted.
A pit-stop during the test in Nardò
Used in three units, the 190E 2.3-16 won 9 world records in 201 hours, 39 minutes and 43 seconds, including those for the 25,000 and 50,000 km journey, confirming the absolute solidity of its mechanics.
Reportage of the Test on the Nardò Circuit
MERCEDES-BENZ 190E R.O.C.
Shortly after its official presentation, Mercedes-Benz decided to advertise its 190E 2.3-16 by organizing a Race of Champions to inaugurate the new section of the newly built Nürburgring.
Produced in 20 units to be entrusted given to as many pilots coming from both Formula 1 and GT races, the car distinguished from the standard model by the presence of a safety roll bar, six-point safety belts and new mechanical components like the sports exhaust system and the stiffened suspension.
The event was attended by legendary motorsport names such as Niki Lauda, Keke Rosberg, Alan Jones, James Hunt and Jody Scheckter but it was a young Brazilian driver who gave a show that day.
Indeed Ayrton Senna who won the race after a fierce duel with Lauda that lasted throughout the final part of the race. This allowed him to leave an excellent impression among the leaders of the Formula 1 team.
The Race of Champions 1984
MERCEDES-BENZ 190E 2.3-16V DTM
The specific version for the DTM competitions entered the race only in 1985 to replace the previous Mercedes-Benz 380 SLC (launched in the first season by the Jörg Leininger team).
Produced in collaboration with the AMG, the car lightened by 200 kg eliminating every superfluous component from the passenger compartment. The 2.3-16 engine equipped a new six-speed manual gearbox and was upgraded to deliver the power of 300 hp with 270 Nm of torque.
Able to reach the maximum speed of 260 km / h, the car also had new alloy wheels, increased brakes, stiff suspension and a safety roll-bar to stiffen the frame.
After its debut with the German driver Leopold Gallina in 1985, the 190 E began to be competitive from 1986 when the Marko RSM team Volker Weidler finished second in the standings with three-second places and two victories at the Nurburgring and the AVUS.
The arrival of the new BMW M3 put the Mercedes-Benz in crisis. In 1987 Mercedes-Benz only reached some placements. It was in 1988 that the car managed to be successful again when the infamous Roland Asch ended second in the championship behind the Ford Sierra RS 500 Cosworth by Klaus Ludwig.
The 1989 season was the last for the 2.3-16 before being completely replaced by the new 2.5-16 Evo. This did not prevent it from obtaining several placings and two victories at the Hockenheimring with Klaus Ludwig and Mainz-Finthen with Kurt Thiim.
Thank you to Valentina Zanola and Alessandro Renesis for the cooperation