Saturday 9 November 2013
The Mercedes-Benz W201 is a compact executive car manufactured by Mercedes-Benz from 1982 to 1993, positioned below the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class — and marketed under variants of the Mercedes 190 nameplate.
The W201 featured a patented rear 5-link suspension, subsequently used in E and C class models, front and rear anti-roll bars, anti-dive and anti-squat geometry — as well as available airbags, ABS brakes and seatbelt pretensioners.
The W201 enjoyed strong sales in Europe but fared poorly in the United States. Series production ended April 13, 1993 after the manufacture of approximately 1.8 million examples. The 190 and its variants were succeeded in the compact executive car segment by the C-Class, a newly created nameplate.
Mercedes spent over £600 million researching and developing the 190 and subsequently said it was 'massively over-engineered'. The W201-based 190 was introduced in November 1982.
Local red tape in Bremen (which produced commercial vehicles at the time) prevented Daimler-Benz from building the 190 there, so production was started in Sindelfingen at a capacity of just 140,000 units per year. Eventually after just the first year, Bremen was cleared for production of the 190, replacing its commercial vehicle lines, and there the 190 was built with the first running modifications since release.
The 190E (E for Einspritzung, or Fuel Injection) model uses the Bosch Jetronic Multi-Point Fuel Injection to meter fuel instead of the carburetor of 190 models. Thanks to their fuel injection system, 190E models made more power and were more fuel efficient when compared to non-fuel injected 190 models.
An enlarged 2.5 L engine replaced the 2.3 L in 1988. It offered double-row timing chains to fix the easily snapping single chains on early 2.3 engines, and increased peak output by 17 hp (12.5 kW) with a slight increase in torque. For the European market without catalyst (RÜF) the car delivered 204 bhp (150 kW). Catalyst equipped 2.5-16s produced a slightly reduced 197 bhp (147 kW). It is debated whether the 2.5 L engine was developed and built by Mercedes or Cosworth. Mercedes was not keen to broadcast the fact that their most sporting saloon car has an engine developed by a British company. However some cylinder heads from 2.5 L cars are stamped with the Coscast logo indicating they were cast at Cosworth's foundry just like the 2.3s. Cosworth also list the project code "WAB" for the development of the 2.5-16-valve head just as they do for the 2.3-16-valve head. Car program Top Gear predicted this 2.5 model to be one of the future classics in the car world, because of its relatively unknown history and rivalry with the BMW M3.
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 2498 cc
- horsepower: 194 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 230 km/h