Sometimes the creators of an ingenious idea remain in the dark and do not move into the limelight even after successful implementation. This was exactly the situation with those Mercedes-Benz employees who had a brilliant and daring idea in late 1983: to organize a race with the newly introduced Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 as a feature of the opening of the rebuilt Nürburgring.
As if that was not enough, they intended to have Formula One world champions, victorious Nürburgring drivers and other top-class professionals as their drivers. The idea seemed to incorporate a large number of stumbling blocks – first and foremost, the fact that Mercedes-Benz had retired from motorsport mainly for capacity reasons. The contacts they had with Formula One circles at the time were essentially that the S-Class and the SL were particularly popular private cars used by many Grand Prix drivers off the track.
On the other hand, the model intended for the opening race – the 190 E 2.3-19- was indeed, very special and was crying out for a chance to prove itself on the racetrack. At the IAA in September 1983, a sports version of the newly introduced “Baby Benz” had been launched before the eyes of an astonished public. This suitability for a sporting event was not only down to the eye-catching aerodynamic aids such as the low-down front apron and striking rear spoiler, but above all was born of the top-class technology under the bonnet. The four-cylinder engine has a cylinder head with 16 valves, four per cylinder – a technology derived from racing that Mercedes-Benz, as one of the first manufacturers, had put into mass production.