This identification guide has been drafted for those interested in the Mercedes Benz 190E 2.5-16 valve, also known as the "Cosworth" Mercedes. These cars represent the highest spec 190E available between 1988 and 1993, prior to being superseded by the Evo I and II 16-valve cars, and are widely considered modern classic.
The 2.5-16 190E’s commands a premium price well above the standard 190E sedans on which they are based. As a result, it is important to be aware of the features which confirm a car is genuine in order to make the right purchase decision.
This guide provides information with respect to the correct external features, interior features, paint colours / codes and of course the important chassis, engine number and gearbox number prefixes that you should be looking for on a 190E 2.5-16.
Period of Manufacture: July 1988 – June 1993
Number produced: 5,743
Please note, this guide has been written based on a variety of online sources and enthusiast input. You should not rely on this guide to make any purchasing decision and we make no representation that all information is accurate. You should always seek independent professional advice when looking to purchase a unique car. If you have additional information, photographs or corrections you believe need to be made to this page, please contact us by clicking the buttons at the top of this page, or comment below.
The 190E 2.5 - 16 cars had the following exterior features, which make a good starting point for the identification of a genuine original car. We note that this particular car is very similar in appearance to its standard 190E counterpart, and almost identical to the 2.3 - 16, other than for several unique features which can often be difficult to spot:
The 190E 2.5 - 16 had the following interior features. Note, many of the interior features / options were also available on the standard 190E and 2.3 - 16, and therefore are not necessarily unique to the 2.5 - 16.
The 190E 2.5 - 16 was available in the largest variety of colours of all the 190E Cosworth cars, which included the following colours detailed in the below table. Examples of the colours are given in the attached labelled images.
|Colour Name||Colour Code||Availability|
|Blue-Black||DB 199||1988 - 1993|
|Smoke Silver||DB 702||1988 - 1993|
|Almadin Red||DB 512||1988 - 1993|
|Astral Silver||DB 735||1988 -1990|
|Brilliant SIlveer||DB 744||1991 -1993|
Paint code location:
To confirm the original colour for the car, you have to look at the embossed plate located on the bonnet slam panel (see image). The number that refers to the colour of the car has been highlighted in the attached image. The other numbers on this plate refer to the options provided with the vehicle.
The chassis number on a Mercedes 190E 2.5-16 should begin with the prefix 201035
This will be followed by numbers indicating the cars specification:
1 = Left hand drive.
2 = Right hand drive.
A - E = Sindelfingen production plant.
F - H = Bremen production plant.
This is then followed by the cars individual / unique 6 digit chassis number.
Location of Chassis Number:
The chassis number should appear in two locations, which should of course match. Firstly, the number appears on the chassis plate which sits on the bonnet slam panel (see attached images highlighting location). Secondly, and most importantly, the same number should be stamped on the bulkhead / firewall which divides the battery compartment from the engine bay, as shown in the images. Additionally, the initial prefix "201035" should appear on the embossed data plate (see location as shown in images. Note - image given is from a 2.3 - 16 car).
The engine number on a 190E 2.5 – 16 should begin with the following prefix:
The engine number is located on a flat area of the engine block, as you look down between the distributor and intake manifold. See images for a better description - noting that the engine in the images is a 2.3 - 16, therefore showing a different number.
The gearbox number on a 190E 2.5 – 16 should begin with the following prefix:
201 260 04 01 717 404
This number should be stamped into a flat plate area, on the opposite side to the “GETRAG” casting, as shown in the attached images. This gearbox number was standard on all 190E 16 valve cars including Evolution models.
The Mercedes 190E 2.5 - 16 had the following original mechanical features:
There were a large number of options available on the 190E 2.5 - 16, and the majority of options available on the car (including option codes) are outlined in the below table. These codes are located on the plate screwed to the bonnet slam panel, as shown in the images. A small sample of these options are given in the images.
|Option Description||Option Code|
|Headlight washers / wipers||600|
|Battery with higher capacity||673|
|Electrically heated seats||L 870, R 871|
|Interior light back seat||876|
|Electric adjustable sunroof||410/ 412|
|Cruise control (Tempomat)||440|
|Central door locking system||466|
|Automatic height adustment||489|
|Electric adjustable mirror passenger side||504|
|Electrical front seat adjustment||L 221, R 222|
|Outside temperature measure||240|
|Electrical front seat adjustment w. memory||L 241, R 242|
|Full leather seats||251|
|Electric adjustable and heated mirror passenger side||506|
|Automatic aerial||531, 532|
|Electric adjustable windows front||583|
|Electric adjustable windows front and back||584|