Yes, the Mercedes 190E City was a Thing
The Mercedes-Benz 190E sedan retains a fiercely cult-like following among throngs of Benz enthusiasts, and it’s not exactly hard to see why. The 190E — although perpetually overshadowed by its E30 BMW M3 rival — evolved from a civilized four-door to become quite the potent performer: first, in the form of the Cosworth-engined 2.3-16, and then in the guise of the barnstorming 2.5-16 Evolution II. Heck, it even clinched the DTM Championship title in 1992 with 16 wins. But did you know there was a hatchback version?
Well, sort of. This is the Mercedes 190E 2.6 City (or Compakt), and it wasn’t officially built by Mercedes at all. Rather, this pint-sized hatchback was created by a German company called Schulz-Tuning. Back in the ‘80s, Schulz gained popularity for some truly unique conversions, including a six-wheeled G-Wagen, a sleek-looking 190E cabriolet, and a BMW E28 estate.
So in 1990, Schulz set to work on turning the compact 190E sedan into a true ‘compakt’ hatch. The resulting 190E City was available in two trims, a five-door hatch and three-door 'coupe," both of which came fitted with the marque’s 2.6-liter straight-six, good for 160 horsepower. The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that the car’s rear taillights and hatchback were borrowed from the larger Mercedes W124.
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Shulz produced just a small handful of 190E City conversions between 1990 and 1991, none of which officially bore the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star. Don’t expect to run into many of these while cruising the Autobahn.
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