Mercedes Celebrates 30 Years of the Baby Benz


Mercedes-Benz introduced the 190 in 1982, ushering in an era of Baby Benzes that would follow over the course of the 30 years that have followed since.

With a wide array of models varying in size, shape and style, Mercedes-Benz today covers more segments and niches than we could shake an aluminum-alloy stick at. But that wasn't always the case. Whereas today Mercedes produces four-door models covering the A, B, C, E, S and CLS classes (not to mention an array of crossovers and SUVs), until the early 80s there were only two sedans in the German automaker's stable: the mid-size 200 (precursor to the E-Class) and the full-size 300 (to become the S-Class).

Determined to reach a broader market, Mercedes introduced the 190 series in 1982. Later replaced by the C-Class, the 190 was the first "baby Benz", and now celebrates its 30th anniversary. The first 190 was available with an 88-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, and a 120hp version in the 190 E. Later models included the 71-horse, oil-burning 190 D, the sportier 190 E 2.3-16 (with a 182hp 16-valve engine) and the still more powerful 192hp 2.5-16. All told, Mercedes produced 1,879,629 units of the 190 series before the C-Class replaced it in 1993 after ten years on the market and two facelifts along the way. 30 years later, the 190 will always be the baby Benz.

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