From one of the original founders of AMG comes the most extreme makeover the classic Mercedes 190E has ever seen. German engineering firm HWA, which was established by Hans Werner Aufrecht after he sold AMG to Mercedes, has released the first photos of the car it calls, simply, Evo.
It’s an homage to the 201 Series 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II that was originally released in 1990 and which took Mercedes to three successive DTM Championships from 1991-1993, with driving gods such as Bernd Schneider and Klaus Ludwig behind the wheel.
When it launched the Evo II cost around three times as much as an entry-level 190E 1.8, however, its Cosworth-fettled 2.5-litre, 16-valve engine produced 231 bhp, or more than double the output of the base model. HWA’s Evo makes both these figures look somewhat feeble. Under the hood is an AMG bi-turbo V6 packing 443 bhp, while the price tag is an estimated £611,000.
With bodywork sculpted by former AMG GT3 designer Edgar Chu, and fabricated largely in carbon fiber, the HWA Evo accentuates the original car’s wide arches, deep chin spoiler and wild wing. Built around a 190E donor car there’s an FIA standard roll cage to massively increase safety and structural rigidity, while the suspension is updated to all-round double wishbones with high-performance damping. ABS braking and traction control will be standard features.
The powertrain is essentially race-spec, which is no surprise since HWA developed competition versions of the SLS AMG, AMG GT3 and GT4 among numerous other projects. The motor gets dry sump lubrication, a custom ECU, and a new intercooler, then sends power to the rear wheels via a carbon fibre driveshaft and a six-speed manual transmission.
The newly-released images don’t show the car’s cabin, but HWA says it will combine modern technology with a classic look and be fully customisable to owners’ tastes. The project is a collaboration with Florida specialist dealer Curated. Only 100 will be built and the first car won’t be ready until the end of 2025.