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Mercedes 190 E 2.5 Evolution II, 190 SL Celebrate Milestones

Original 190 SL Roadster Launched 60 Years Ago

The original Mercedes-Benz 190 SL roadster and the racing-derived 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II are highly regarded models in Benz's history, and both cars celebrate big anniversaries this year.

The 190 SL first went into production 60 years ago as the top-down and more accessible sibling to the 300 SL Gullwing. Unlike the Gullwing, which boasted an advanced space frame and strong 3.0-liter inline-six, the 190 SL started life with the 180 sedan's chassis and was powered by a 105-hp 1.9-liter I-4. The 190 SL shared the Gullwing's exotic curves and lines, but was more practical thanks to conventional doors and more trunk space. Mercedes states that 25,881 190 SL roadsters were produced from 1955 to 1963, with 40 percent of those cars sold in the U.S.

Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II

It's been 25 years since Mercedes first rolled out the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II. As its name implies, the Evo II was an evolution of the original German DTM homologation special, the 190 E 2.3-16. Churning out 232 hp from its 2.5-liter I-4 that was co-developed by Cosworth, the Evo II was Benz's final weapon in its legendary battle against the original BMW M3.

Check out photos of both cars in the gallery below.