Journal: This Mercedes 2.5-16 Evolution II Eats American Roads For Breakfast

This Mercedes 2.5-16 Evolution II Eats American Roads For Breakfast

Duncan Bonar By Duncan Bonar
August 2, 2016
12 comments

Photography by Duncan Bonar

The story of this car is both mysterious and unique. The previous owner in Japan wanted a DTM car from Mercedes and that, simply, couldn’t be had. As we know, the best way to build a modified car is to start with the best donor car possible. In this case, that donor car happened to be an original 1 of 502 Evolution II. Madness, yes. Awesome? Even more so.

Besides the AMG power pack fitted to a short-stroke 2.5L, SLS suspension, and the obvious radical body kit that reduces drag to 0.29 (and as legend forced BMW to redesign its wind tunnel), the car had been worked over front to rear, top to bottom, with the end goal of a street-able DTM car.

The interior was transformed from a sport / luxury saloon to that of a racing cockpit. Its interior has all the right parts, too, beginning with Sport Recaro Pole Position SPGs dated back to 1997 were fitted to the front, while the rears were recovered to match, complete with Recaro letter pressing. A steering wheel from Momo marked “Momo for Mercedes” on the rear. A full cage was fitted rendering the rear seats about as useful as an ashtray on a sport bike. The OEM gauge cluster was done away with in favor a streamlined gauge setup boasting a center mounted tachometer. All accessory switches were replaced with their mil spec equivalent along with ignition, horn, and a general kill switch mounted along the center console.

And here’s where it gets serious: the short stroke 2.5L was fitted with individual throttle bodies fed through a custom intake manifold, with rotational mass slimmed down with an aluminum pulley. Fueling is taken care of courtesy of larger injectors mounted on a custom fuel rail. Cooling is a non-issue with a larger, custom radiator, and dual cooling fans. Exhaust is exfiltrated through a set up custom headers then to an X pipe and further rearward. And lastly, engine management is provided by a Motec system.

Being a saloon with less than 300 horsepower, some may think of the older Mercedes’ as momentum cars, and by experience, that is largely true. What makes up for that is done in the braking department with Brembo monoblock 6 pot fronts and 4 pot rears on dinner plate-sized rotors, with stainless steel lines. Front-to-rear and side-to-side underbody chassis bracing stiffens the chassis in addition to the cage. Finally, it relies on a good set up, tires, and authentic OZ Racing wheels at 8.5×18 (front) and 10×18 (rear) for looks and the needed stick.

In my opinion, this car is something special. It’s a seamless integration of DTM engineering and an ’80s kid’s wet dream—it’s recently been brought Stateside, too for Original Rare, so look for it in your rearview mirror soon…

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Jim LevittDan GraffHappy Birthday AMG! – World Wheelsgio64Atarax1a Recent comment authors
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Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt

I will take it except for the seats and probably the cage is really not necessary.
Put a nice pair of modern sport bucket street seats and I would be very happy

Dan Graff
Dan Graff

We need some good video of this car

trackback

[…] from this period are the G class tuning and the W201 (190) series. Most important here is the Evolution II Power Pack, which at this time represented the peak of the 190E […]

gio64
gio64

The fenders look completely out of place with the rest of the car lines. Beside that, it’s a lovely car and one I would certainly buy if I had a car collection.

Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt

What I never noticed on these are those cool mirrors. Were these OEM to that car?
I wonder… not very German looking!

Atarax1a
Atarax1a

They were not. They appear to be WRC-style mirrors for a GD-chassis Subaru (US market’s 2002-2007 cars), just reworked to fit the door properly.

Jonathan WC Mills
Jonathan WC Mills

This is the coolest build I’ve seen in a LONG time. It’s perfect, rare, amazing and timely and I’m green with jealously.

Alex Sobran
Alex Sobran

Thanks for sharing Duncan, very informative article about an amazing car!

Derelict
Derelict

Beautiful. All beautiful. I love that era of Merc but realistically, BMWs were more polished and capable at that time.

Alex Sobran
Alex Sobran

Capable enough to beat BMW in DTM in ’92! Both the 190 Cosworths and M3 were pinnacles of their time though, no doubt

Kerékgyártó Balázs
Kerékgyártó Balázs

If U got the money for it, it’s a perfect build. I would start with a base w201 Merc, add a rollcage, better brakes, stiffen the whole car, and add an AMG V8 from the late 90s or the early 00s+ the whole drivetrain.

Teddy Ruxpin
Teddy Ruxpin

It would certainly be less sacrilegious… Save the Evos!!!