From arguably what was the weakest motorsport background of the major German automobile manufacturers in the 1970s, Audi and the Volkswagen group have grown into what is undoubtedly the most active and diverse in the past 30 years. It’s funny, too – since, generally speaking, most enthusiasts would place Porsche and BMW ahead of Audi with sporting credentials; but then, just cover the amount of racing that the Volkswagen Audi Group are involved in. Most notable would probably the 13th victory in 15 years for Audi racing the 24 Hours of Le Mans – an incredible feat and precariously close to the all time record of 16 victories by Porsche. Then there are the R8 customer racing programs and Audis involvement in the DTM since the 1980s. Though Audi dropped out of the Rally scene that bore the legend of Quattro, Volkswagen is no slouch either having won the WRC title last year. Volkswagen also runs a one-off Scirocco cup in addition to Formula 3, Dakar and Global Rallycross efforts. Bentley is still on the radar as well, having also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and is now racing Porsches and Ferraris with their new GT3 racer. Lamborghini, though not often associated with motorsport ironically, also has a one-off series called the Super Trofeo and previously ran in GT1 as well. And let’s not forget that Audi also owns Ducati, one of the most famous racing names in the motorcycle world. All in all, then, there aren’t many manufacturers that come close to the level of corporate involvement that the Volkswagen group engages in. One of my favorites until fairly recently was the German Touring Car series, more commonly referred to by with German ackronym DTM – Deutsche Tourenwagen Meistershaft, and since 1996 the Audi A4 has been a lead contender:
Tag: Touring Car
Homologation for motorsport is nothing new, but it’s uncommon that a vehicle will make the transition into multiple race series. Mercedes-Benz had intentions of rally competition with the 190E when it was introduced in the early 1980s, but, as they say, life is timing. With the Audi Quattro lighting up the World Rally scene, Mercedes became a bit gun shy of the proposition. Instead, they decided to go racing in the newly devised Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (German Touring Car) race series. The first years of this series were legendary, with Mercedes going head to head with E30 BMW M3s on the track in some epic battles.
The two competition 190Es we’ll take a look at today were intended for two very different race series. The first 190E we’ll take a look at is for sale in Holland and was intended for the rally circuit.