Mercedes 190E as a Cabriolet

Words Jim Davis | August 12, 2013
Check out what the original Baby Benz would have looked like as a convertible
Words Jim Davis August 12, 2013

The Mercedes-Benz 190 was an interesting model for Mercedes, loved by some for it’s itsy bitsy size and hated by others for the very same reason.  Love it or hate it, the 190 paved the way for the mini-sedan segment and the Mercedes C-Class.  But what if Mercedes had made a cabriolet version, what would it have looked like?

Wonder no more.  Master automotive manipulator Theophilus Chin designed his own version of a 190E Cabriolet.

Not familiar with the Mercedes 190, here is a little background for you.  The Mercedes-Benz W201 four-door sedan, more affectionately known as the 190, 190E, was an important car in its time, mainly because of its small size. It was so small that we’re pretty sure that if it were still being produced for the U.S. market, the Mercedes 190E would be the smallest four-door sedan on any car log.

The idea of a subcompact German luxury car was unheard of in the early 70’s, Mercedes was busy building either fast cars, large diesel cars or large fast cars – none of which were fuel efficient.  But it was apparent that Mercedes needed a smaller, more fuel-efficient car if they were going to meet impending U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements that ensued after the Arab Oil Embargo in ’73.  And so, in 1982, the “Baby Benz” was born in the form of the 190E. Despite its teeny, tiny size, from the driver’s perspective, the 190E had to look and feel like a Mercedes, no matter what the cost. In order to achieve such a feat, Mercedes was rumored to have spent what would today be $4 billion dollars.  With it’s lackluster sales, that is an amount that was likely never recouped.  The W201 was retired in 1993 paving the way for the now extremely popular C-Class.