While SEMA 2022 dominates much of enthusiasts’ bandwidth this week, that doesn’t mean other cool and interesting stuff hasn’t popped up elsewhere. One project that popped up this week in the Obscure Cars for Sale 3.0...because 2.0 sux! Facebook group is something fairly rare with a fascinating powerplant: a super- and turbocharged, five-speed manual, ‘80s Mercedes-Benz 190E Cosworth.
This neat piece of DTM homologation history hails far from SEMA in the great state of Wisconsin, and its owner, Garret Behm, is asking just $15,000 for it (entirely reasonable). I reached out to him for more insight, as well as hear (quite literally) how this ‘80s German icon makes around 350 horsepower at the rear wheels.
According to Behm, it’s one of just 700 manual transmission-equipped Benz Cosworths in the United States, is originally a California car, and is a little rough around the edges in terms of its bodywork. It also holds a clean title, and features some truly rad engine upgrades to make the most of its 2.3-liter 16-valve engine.
For starters, the engine’s internals are completely unmodified, as is everything drivetrain-related. Suspension-wise, there’s nothing too terribly wild about it, though these don’t need much to handle brilliantly. “It’s on lowering springs and converted to normal struts,” Behm said. “Factory, it had SLS, aka a hydraulic self-leveling suspension.” Then, it has legitimate EVO II wheels mounted up, EVO II front brake calipers, and very fresh Toyo R888R tires.
But the good stuff lies in what’s bolted up to its twin-charged engine—a Mercedes supercharger, Mitsubishi turbocharger, and BMW independent throttle bodies to suck in air as efficiently as possible. The blower is a clutched Eaton M62, which was mounted on several '90s Mercedes from the factory, while the turbo is a TD05-20G unit, and both required some intuitive fabrication to secure them to the little 2.3’s block.
Making it all work is MegaSquirt MS3 standalone engine management, a wideband oxygen sensor, 600 cc injectors, and other necessary components to get enough fuel to the cylinders. Behm shared a YouTube video with more specifics when it was a little rougher around the edges tuning-wise, and my God does it sound badass. I can only imagine this thing’s a riot to do first-through-third-gear pulls in.
Behm also noted that the dog-leg manual transmission shifts great and the clutch feels great, too. He’s got more photos on his Instagram, where he’s also shared some neat stuff about his other high-horsepower Merc—a 2005 E500 4Matic wagon with an M113K supercharged 5.4-liter V8 under its hood.
Who doesn’t love a twin-charged anything? Especially under the hood of such an iconic ‘80s European legend? It’s almost as if Behm combined two of the best forms of racing from the '80s—some wild forced induction from Group B rally (think Lancia Delta S4) and DTM—and made something truly remarkable. With some quality time spent on its bodywork, and any minor details that might need refreshing, this could be an awesome project.
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