Skip advert
Advertisement

Mercedes vs Mercedes

Mercedes C63 AMG vs Mercedes 190E Cosworth

The battle to create the world’s greatest super-saloon has consumed the German car industry for 20 years. What started as a racing rivalry in the Seventies has spilled out on to the road, with Mercedes, BMW and Audi trying to get the upper hand.

But while the current batch of mega-saloons – including this C63 AMG – has thunderous V8 and V10 engines, the cars that started the revolution were fitted with relatively low-capacity four-cylinder units.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Of all the racing specials that emerged in the Seventies and Eighties, the Mercedes 190E Cosworth became the darling of the performance set. It was designed to win the DTM German touring car championship, and the original 2.3-litre did just that, and also set 12 endurance world records.

It was replaced in 1988 by this 2.5-litre model. And as with its predecessor, it had a hand-built 202bhp 2.5-litre Cosworth unit.

There’s a clear link between the 190E and the new C63 AMG. While Mercedes has given the C-Class a number of faces over the years, and the latest generation features a few more curves, the classic proportions have remained constant.

On the road, however, the 190E and C63 are markedly different. Although both have racing roots, the 190E feels closer to the track than its modern brother. Man-handling the dog-leg gearlever into first is like wrestling with a giant Meccano set, while the obvious lack of soundproofing and rock-hard ride mean even short journeys can be a test of endurance.

The C63 AMG, in contrast, is high-performance motoring at its most luxurious. Drag the automatic gearshifter to the ‘D’ position, hit the throttle and marvel as the 457bhp 6.2-litre V8 pushes you deep into the leather bucket seats.

So is the spirit of the original still evident? There’s no doubt about it. Although the driving experience has changed, Mercedes’ obsession with wringing the maximum performance out of a humble family saloon hasn’t.

Facts and figures

Mercedes C63 AMG vs Mercedes 190E Cosworth

Price new: £50,342 / £29,900 (1988)
Engine: 6,208cc V8 / 2,464cc 4cyl
Transmission: Seven-speed auto, rear-wheel drive / Five-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power: 457bhp / 202bhp
Length/width/height: 4,581/1,770/1,449mm / 4,430/1,720/1,342mm

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Dacia’s Duster is Britain’s best car to own as Driver Power 2024 survey results land
Dacia Duster - front tracking
News

Dacia’s Duster is Britain’s best car to own as Driver Power 2024 survey results land

Owners have voted the Dacia Duster as the most satisfying new car to own in the 2024 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey
11 Jun 2024
Best cars to own: Driver Power 2024 results
Driver Power 2024 - best cars to own header
News

Best cars to own: Driver Power 2024 results

The best new cars to own in the UK right now according to the people who already do. It’s the 2024 Driver Power results!
11 Jun 2024
New Porsche 911 S/T 2024 review: one of the best sports cars ever built
Porsche 911 S/T - front
Road tests

New Porsche 911 S/T 2024 review: one of the best sports cars ever built

Porsche’s last hurrah for the 992.1 generation 911 is an epic driving machine with just the right dose of luxury
12 Jun 2024