Before you roll your eyes and yawn at yet another BMW E30 M3 vs 190E Cosworth article, consider the prospect of the latter catching up (and dare I say it, surpassing) the BMW in “want” factor. Thanks to the perpetually changing ‘what’s hot”, “what’s not” nature of the automotive world, factoring in the whole Drift/Hipster/Retro movements, could the old Merc capture a little more cool factor and equal that of the Ultimate Driving Machine?
Again, before you write this obvious contender off, a car well known for its performance and constantly compared to the E30, the Mercedes 190E Cosworth boasts both a great back story and amazing racing heritage – the Merc also features the uber cool dog-leg gearing.
Although both cars are luxury German sedans, both powered by a naturally-aspirated in-line 4 engines, both RWD, both punching out around 190-bhp with 170+ft.lbs of torque, their prices differ rather dramatically.
A decent BMW E30 M3 will start at around £25K, where a mint 190E Cosworth will set you back only £12-15K. I’ve seen mint E30 M3s go for as much as £40K, with track-spec examples hitting £100K.
Another factor to consider in is how good a car looks drifting. Obviously the E30s look incredible, both agile and sinister, and because of its perfect balancing, fantastic impersonating a crab. I think the E30 looks more like a racecar than the Mercedes, the latter thought more as a businessman’s chariot.
What some may forget are the glory days when Mercedes and BMW duked it out in European Touring Cars – the 190E Cosworth was a winning car, a force that drove BMW to create the M3 in the first place. In fact, the Merc was so good, Ayrton Senna bought one after winning a 1984 Nurburgring race – check out the 190E in action in the video below.
So with its boxy retro looks, its track abilities, its ability to drift and perform on track, could the 190E see its desirability and value increase?
If you’re still not convinced or sure, Motor Trend did an in depth video on the Germans, so take a look and let me know what car you’d rather see in your garage.