Mercedes-Benz 190e Cosworth: World’s Rarest 16V Monster

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Mercedes-Benz 190e Cosworth 2.3 16V Side

Greatest M-B sport sedan of the 1980s, less than a thousand examples were sold in 1987.

While the modern high performance Mercedes-Benz models pack monster power, but in the 1980s, the 190e Cosworth 2.3 16V secured its place in automotive history with 167 horsepower and 162-lb-ft of torque. When coupled with the suspension, braking, interior and exterior upgrades of the Cosworth-tuned 190, this high-revving engine made the 2.3 16V one of the greatest sport sedans of the era and that has made them hot collector’s items today.

Unfortunately, with just 962 sold for the United States market for the 1987 model year, these sport sedans are hard to find, but there is one available in the MBWorld Marketplace for $14,500.


When cosworth1987 posted his 1987 Mercedes-Benz 190e Cosworth 2.3 16V for sale in the forum marketplace, he didn’t include any information on this exact car, instead copying and pasting an entire article about the model from Hemmings. It is a long story in which they talk about the model, speaking with an owner of several examples of the Cosworth-tuned 190. You can read that whole piece, which includes a long list of information on the model and its history, in the original piece.

Cosworth 190e Gauges

Cosworth Package Features

The 1987 Mercedes-Benz 190e Cosworth 2.3 16V started with the unique four-cylinder engine, which features a twin-cam, four-valves-per-cylinder head, a high-flow intake manifold, an exhaust header and a free-flowing exhaust system. The package also added a close-ratio Getrag five-speed manual transmission, a limited-slip rear differential, a sharper steering ratio, larger brakes and an elaborate suspension setup that featured stiffer shocks, thicker anti-roll bars, firmer springs and a multi-link rear setup.

Cosworth 190e Engine

Finally, the exterior had a sportier body kit and a low profile rear spoiler while the inside benefits from leather-wrapped Recaro sport bucket seats and VDO gauges.

While the power output is low by today’s standards, the 190e Cosworth was one of the greatest European sport sedans on the road in its day, making it the most desirable Mercedes-Benz collectable today.

Little Issues

There is no information on the car being sold, but if you look through the pictures, there are some good points and some bad points on this classic Mercedes-Benz sport sedan.

Cosworth 190e Roof Dent

The bad points are a dent on the roof above the windshield and another further back, near the roof ditch. There is also a pretty significant scuff on the passenger’s side rear corner that appears to have bent the metal around the taillight along with scratching deep into the paint on the metal body and the composite trim. A paint job and a little body work would make this car just about perfect.

Cosworth 190e Rear Dent

The good point is that in every other area shy of those mentioned above, this Cosworth 2.3 16V appears to be flawless. The majority of the body is very clean and the engine bay looks spotless. The interior looks great, from the black leather on the seats and door panels to the wood trim around the shifter to the carpeting, the cabin looks incredible in these pictures.

Cosworth 190e Dash

Nice Price

In the article posted in the sale listing, the information towards the bottom from Hemmings states that these cars sold in the price range of $3,500 to $14,000, with an average selling price of $7,500, but that was back in 2010. The OP mistakenly listed the car for $1,450, but in the replies, he points out that it was meant to be $14,500. He also points out that the engine and transmission work great, that the car is all-original and that he is just the second owner.

Cosworth 190e Seats

Everything else aside, this is one of only 962 examples of the Cosworth 190e sold in the United States back in 1987 and for a car that is nearly 30 years old, it is in great shape. These cars don’t come up for sale every day, so if you have been dreaming of owning one of the great European sport sedans from the 1980s, this is your chance to grab a rare Mercedes-Benz 190e Cosworth 2.3 16V.

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A lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years, Patrick Rall is highly experienced in the automotive world. He has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now auto journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

“Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500,” says Rall. “He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car: a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16. Meanwhile, I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

“Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group,” adds Rall. “While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

“Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never ‘work’ a day in your life. I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

“My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

“Being based on Detroit, I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.”

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