Watch The Legendary 1990 Mercedes 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II Outbrake Its 2017 Successor

Almost universally, modern race cars are more capable than their predecessors. Almost.


Mercedes AMG’s DTM team did a bit of a old vs new test, comparing how its current 2017 car compares to its most beloved old one, the 190E Cosworth. It was the car that inspired the BMW M3, built just to counter the Benz’s dominance of German touring car racing back in the ‘80s.

Certainly the 2017 DTM car is better and faster in every outright metric; the 2017 car is basically an enclosed formula car, built off of a carbon tub with no road car compromises.


But what’s funny is that the car has gone so far into the world of dedicated race machinery that it only operates well under a certain and specific set of parameters. The carbon brakes, for instance, are punishingly stronger than any brakes of nearly three decades ago, but they require a great deal of heat to work. If they’re not brought up to temperature, they’re worthless.

And that’s how the 190E came to out-brake the car with over a quarter century of development on it.

Watch the whole video, spotted by, for a comparison of how far race cars have come, and what comprises they now require for their speed.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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Martin Brundle said that the 190E had one of the best chassis ever fitted to a four-door saloon.