1982 Mercedes-Benz 190 Baby Benz Debut
In the 1980s, the world stopped caring about peace and love and started focusing on more important things like computers and E.T. – The Extraterrestrial. Mercedes-Benz, being the savvy automaker that it is, jumped on this opportunity and gave birth to the Baby Benz. Less commonly known as the 1982 Mercedes-Benz 190, its debut showed the world that the luxury car was far from death and that the future had arrived…for good this time.
From 1955 to 1965, the 190 existed as an SL roadster, but it disappeared from 1965 to 1982, most likely because of war efforts and lack of interest in the roadster style. When it finally returned in the 1980s, it was a completely different car and grew to become even more popular than the 190s of the past.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, one of the world’s famous “We are running out of fossil fuels” trends was changing the automotive industry. Big, bulky cars that were popular for their luxurious interiors and powerful engines were now thought to be inefficient, so cars started getting smaller, sacrificing luxury. The Mercedes-Benz 190 could be though of as the world’s first luxury compact car because both inside and out, it made competition look inferior.
The 190 was an instant success, but not just because of its radical new look. It was one of the first passenger cars with independent rear suspension and also one of the first to feature a 16-vavle engine. These are two technologies that we still use religiously today to manufacturer and sell cars.
Baby Benz Grows Up
Eventually, the 190 became almost the entire lineup you see at our dealership today. The C-Class was introduced in 1993 using the 190 as a starting point, and of course, the E-Class took over the job of the 190, paving the way for the CLA, the GLC, and even the S-Class.