Mercedes-Benz went head to head with BMW when it launched the compact 190 Series in December 1982, expanding its market to include motorists hitherto unable to afford the Stuttgart manufacturer's high-quality products. A sports model was not long in coming, the Cosworth-developed 185bhp 2.3-16 joining the expanding 190 range in the autumn of 1983, to be followed in 1985 by the 2.5-16, which was both more powerful and faster, boasting 204bhp in non-catalyst form and a top speed of 146mph. Produced with touring car racing in mind, limited edition Evolution and Evolution II versions had arrived by the decade's end. This manual-transmission example of one of the most exciting touring cars of recent years currently displays a total of just under 73,000 miles on the odometer and comes with mostly main dealer history (predominantly with Caffyns Mercedes-Benz) with the exception of three services carried out by marque specialists. Mercedes-Benz of Swansea carried out the most recent service in April 2011 (at 65,746 miles) at a cost of £305. The current (fifth) owner purchased the car on 29th February 2008 at around 52,000 miles and has not used it in wintertime since acquisition. In late 2008 (at 60,660 miles) the cylinder head was overhauled to renew the valve stem oil seals and re-shim the tappets, while between 2010 and 2011 a full bodywork restoration was undertaken by Wylye Valley Classic Car Restoration Co, with any rust that was present (very little) being taken care of. In short: this car has been maintained regardless of cost and we are advised that everything works as it should. 'F323 XPR' is finished in '512 Almadine' with full black leather interior, the front seats being electric. The wheels are currently 17" AMG Aero 1 but the car will be sold with a full set of five correct 15" lightweight Mercedes-Benz wheels that have recently been sent away for refurbishing and fitting with new premium tires. Modifications/additions include a Mercedes-Benz fire extinguisher, period AMG steering wheel, period AMG rear spoiler and a 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II rear anti-roll bar with metal drop links. A popular upgrade, the latter was installed to counter the inherent understeer at low-to-mid speeds. Taxed and MoT'd, this collectible future classic comes with a thick file of receipts, expired MoTs, old tax discs, DVLA VQ7 form, Swansea V5C registration document, brochures and magazine articles.
The spare wheel is present with the vendor, and will be forwarded to the new owner post-sale.