Mercedes-Benz Celebrates 30th Anniversary of the 190E Compact Saloon [64 Photos]

For car fans old enough to remember, November 1982, was the month Mercedes-Benz first entered the compact segment with the W201, i.e. the 190 and 190E models. Up to that point, the base model of the three-pointed star was the mid-size 200 E.

Today, it may occupy more niches than even its bean counters can remember, and more are on their way, but 30 years ago, the 190/190 E compact saloon was only the third family car, alongside the 200E and the S-Class, in Merc’s range.

The “baby Benz”, as it was known, was designed by the great Bruno Sacco, featured a multilink rear suspension and was initially available with a 2-liter petrol engine delivering 88 and 120HP in the 190 and 190 E respectively.

In 1993, the 71HP 190D four-cylinder diesel and the sporty 190 E 2.3-16, which was powered by a new 16-valve four-cylinder with 182HP, were added to the model’s range.

In the following years, the line-up of Merc’s compact saloon would grow further, reaching its peak in 1988 with the 190 E 2.5-16 – a compact sports sedan that started out with 192HP and, at the end of its development, produced up to 232HP in the Evolution models.

It was the basis of Mercedes’ entry in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM), which it won in 1992 with the AMG-Mercedes 190 E Evolution II driven by Klaus Ludwig.

The 190 E stayed in production for more than 10 years, receiving two facelifts in 1988 and 1991, selling 1,879,629 units before it was replaced in 1993 by the W202, or the C-Class, as the compact sedan range has been officially named ever since.

If you scroll down, you will find a large gallery of images of the 190E, as well as some pretty interesting sketches and clay prototypes of compact sedan models stretching back to the early 1970s that Mercedes-Benz designers had been working on before they released the W201.




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