Behind the Baby-Benz: 30 Years of the Evo II

It’s been 30 years since the Mercedes-Benz Evo II was unveiled and we were lucky enough to have one of the very few remaining examples on display at Mercedes me Store Melbourne.

The Evo II was unveiled in March 1990, 30 years ago, at the Geneva International Motor Show. Due to the success of the earlier Evolution model, all 502 units of the mark II had been pre-sold before the event. The Evo II featured a radical body kit, with a large adjustable rear wing, rear window spoiler, and 17-inch alloy wheels with wheel arch flaring integrated into the line of the body. It was aerodynamic, and had been wind tunnel tested to reduce drag to 0.29. Its top speed was 250km/h and it could accelerate from a standing start to 100km/h in 7.1 seconds.

Initially, the vehicle designed by Mercedes-Benz then-chief designer Bruno Sacco and dubbed the ‘Baby-Benz’ wasn’t associated with sporting prowess. Early W201 models (the straight 190 and 190 E) had comparatively low outputs, and it wasn’t until the six-cylinder 190 E 2.3-16 model was released in 1983 that the car began to see results, breaking records first at the Pista di Nardò, a 50,000km testing track in Italy, and later on the race course in Nürburgring, Germany.

You can read more about this iconic car and its rich racing history here.

By Anna Webster

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