We often hear people whining and groaning about modern cars, either because they don't make them the way they used to or because automakers aren't making any technological advances. We say, you can't win them all, especially those that don't have a clue about what they're talking about. Nevertheless, we'd advise them to take a look at this uber-cool 'Back to the future' style Mercedes project that demonstrates the major developments in diesel technology over the past two decades.
In order to do this, the German automaker's engineers retrofitted a 1980's 190 sedan with an ultra modern common-rail diesel from the C250 CDI BlueEfficiency.
The 2.2-liter 4-cylinder clean diesel produces an output of 204 horsepower and a massive 500Nm or 368 lb-ft of torque between 1,600 and 1,800 rpm, which is more than twice the torque of the most powerful model in the old W 201-series, the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II that was presented in 1990 and produced in a limited run of 502 units as a homologation special for the Group A DTM touring cars.
With the new diesel engine, the classic 190 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in a mere 6.2 seconds. Now pay attention; not only does the 190 D BlueEfficiency manage to perform the standard sprint 11.9 seconds faster than a 190 D of the time (18.1 sec...), but more impressively, it literally trumps the 235HP 190 E 2.5-16 EVO II that accelerated from standstill to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds!
For the record, the standard, BMW M3 E30 challenging 190 E 2.3 16V upon which the EVO II was based, completed the same acceleration in 7.5 seconds.
Despite the scorching sprint time and the fact that the 190 D BlueEfficiency has 72 more horsepower than the standard 190 D, the new engine in the old body consumes 4.9 lt per 100 km (NEDC) instead of the 7.3 liter figure for 1988 (51.1 mpg vs 32.2 mpg respectively).
In comparison, the larger (160mm or almost 6.3-in. longer than the 190) and heavier (+385 kg or +848 lbs) but also far better equipped C250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY that gets all sorts of safety and luxury features such as seven airbags and ESP, hits the 100km/h mark in 7.0 sec and consumes on average 5.1lt/100 or 46.1 mpg US.
Mercedes-Benz 190 D BlueEfficiency
Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16V EVO II