Leading motorsport and performance road car engineers, HWA AG, unveil technical specifications for new HWA EVO; a carbon-bodied reincarnation of the legendary Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 EVO II with up to 500PS, optimised and intensified for the modern age.

  • HWA AG (HWA) draws on decades of front-line motorsport engineering experience to create a road-legal, track-ready, ultra-driver-focused super saloon inspired by Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 EVO II
  • Exclusivity guaranteed with 100-unit production run
  • Based on Mercedes-Benz W201 series, aggressive DTM-inspired design honours legacy of Mercedes-Benz designer Bruno Sacco
  • Sensitively judged application of contemporary materials, technology, and manufacturing techniques evolves driving experience of Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 EVO II while amplifying period car’s extraordinary character
  • HWA EVO’s six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive format hold true to ethos of 1990 EVO II, ensuring immersive, visceral driving experience
  • Significantly strengthened chassis, roll cage, and competition-grade brakes combine with bespoke electronic control systems to deliver exceptional safety
  • HWA EVO priced at €714,000 (plus local taxes) with first deliveries in late 2025

Affalterbach, Germany, 20/06/24 – German-based global motorsport, advanced technology, and ultra-high performance automotive brand, HWA AG (HWA), has presented the Concept Demonstrator of its highly anticipated, roadgoing, track-ready HWA EVO super saloon.

Built from the ground up, the HWA EVO represents a reincarnation of the legendary Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 EVO II. Limited to just 100 production examples, the HWA EVO is enhanced to provide a contemporary, ultra-focussed driving experience through the empathetic application of modern materials, technology, and manufacturing techniques while holding true to the ethos of the 1990 Mercedes-Benz EVO II.

HWA – uniquely positioned to reinterpret the EVO II for the modern age
As one of the world's leading engineering brands, HWA is eminently qualified to create a contemporary interpretation of the Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 EVO II, which was developed in period as a road-going homologation model to serve as the basis of the company’s next-generation DTM race car.

HWA founder, Hans Werner Aufrecht, worked alongside Erhard Melcher as a development engineer at Daimler-Benz before the pair set up their own motorsport company AMG (Aufrecht, Melcher and Großaspach – Aufrecht’s hometown) in 1967. AMG built its reputation by racing Mercedes-Benz cars and creating extremely
high-performance modified road models before being acquired by DaimlerChrysler AG in 1998. HWA was conceived in Affalterbach in southern Germany in 1998, with the intention of continuing Hans Werner Aufrecht’s motorsport work.

Eleven DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) driver’s titles, more than 480 victories in by HWA-powered teams in Formula 3, two Formula E titles and the construction of more than 700 Mercedes customer GT cars provide a measure of the breadth and depth of HWA’s motorsport expertise. That sits alongside the brand’s work for major luxury and ultra-high-performance OEMs. HWA was entrusted with collaborating with Mercedes-AMG on the creation of the iconic Mercedes-Benz
CLK-GTR Strassenversion and oversaw the realisation of both the 2004 CLK DTM AMG and 2008 SL 65 AMG Black Series. Today, the brand continues to assist multiple top-tier OEMs in super and hypercar projects, including the likes of Pagani, De Tomaso, and Apollo.

“With 280 colleagues and the ability to do everything in-house from simulation, design, chassis and engine build, to electronics, carbon fibre, paint and cabin trim to the highest possible standards, there is no doubting HWA’s technical ability to create a reinterpretation of the Mercedes-Benz EVO II, fully enhanced for the modern era,” explains HWA CTO, Gordian von Schöning.

“Just as importantly, we also trace our founder’s involvement back to the genesis of the EVO II. At that time, Mr Aufrecht was responsible for racing the previous generation in the DTM championship. He collaborated closely with the Mercedes-Benz road car engineers to determine the EVO II road car specification to optimise the next-generation race car. Also, one of our engineers, who is still with us today, helped build the 502 EVO II models at Mercedes-Benz’s Sindelfingen plant.

“At HWA, we have wanted to create a modern version of the EVO II for some time, and it is not a task we undertake lightly considering the car’s legendary status with enthusiasts and its history in the DTM. Our philosophy with the HWA EVO is to build an extremely dynamic but fully usable road car that can withstand the rigours of extreme track driving while retaining the spirit of the original car.

“But it's not just about having the best engineering resources to build this car. We have the heritage and the experience with Mercedes-Benz in DTM, and that’s why we believe we are best placed to tell the next chapter of the story with the HWA EVO.”

No-holds-barred ground-up build process
HWA selects a Mercedes-Benz W201 as a donor vehicle for each EVO, using a proportion of the W201’s steel chassis, as a base upon which to construct the ultimate modern interpretation of the legendary EVO II. Thus, the HWA is essentially an entirely new car, built from the ground up to comply with contemporary production standards.

The midsection of the donor vehicle’s steel chassis is extensively reinforced. New front and rear aluminium chassis assemblies, designed in HWA’s own CAD studio are introduced. The chassis is fully electro or KTL (Kathodische Tauchlackierung) coated for OEM-level anti-corrosion protection.

Significant changes in stiffening, and for safety, add further strength and rigidity to the structure. In addition to intensive simulation programmes, a physical crash test of the EVO will be carried out to ensure optimum occupant protection standards. A full carbon body is fitted to the re-engineered chassis, contributing to the car’s 1360kg / 2980lb kerb weight.

Evolution of an iconic design
The HWA design team, in cooperation with race car design specialist Edgar Chu, did not have to look far for inspiration. The company currently has three original EVO IIs on-site for restoration, thus the 1990 car provides a constant visual reference point for the evolution of the HWA car’s design.

“With the HWA EVO, we want people to experience a strong sense of continuation when they look at and step inside the car. We have remained unerringly true to Bruno Sacco’s original iconic design language, with which he transformed Mercedes-Benz. For example, take the square-lined upper section of the car, which retains the original specification glass,” explains HWA Head of Commercial, Alex Langhein.

The 1990 EVO II featured a ‘bolt-on’ fibreglass composite body kit to accommodate the car’s new, larger 17” wheels. The HWA car takes the original car’s design to another level with ultra-aggressive, DTM-inspired arches which are artfully incorporated into the front and rear wings as single-piece carbon components. These cloak 19-inch front and 20-inch rear six-spoke forged wheels, which pay a fitting aesthetic tribute to the wheels on the EVO II.

As with the original, the HWA EVO is offered with a front axle lift, capable of raising the front bumper and air splitter by 30mm (1.2 inches) to help clear speed bumps. At the rear, the HWA EVO features a similarly deep, technical bumper, while on the boot lid, the iconic rear spoiler has been elevated to new heights and reinterpreted in an even more dynamic and aerodynamically efficient form with the addition of an extendable rear flap.

Powerful twin LED headlights frame the car’s black grille, with contemporary LED lighting technology also purposefully deployed at the rear.

Thirty-four years ago, customers of the first 500 EVO II models had to content themselves with one colour only – metallic Blauschwarz (blue/black, paint code 199), with only the final two cars finished in silver. By contrast, HWA’s 25-employee paint shop can provide any colour and finish a customer desires, including bespoke liveries.

Interior design
As with the exterior design, the HWA EVO’s interior evokes the spirit of the original car while transforming the user experience for the modern era. To set optimum safety standards, HWA chose digital over analogue instrumentation, however the technology is presented to replicate the period feel of LED displays from the early 1990s. Customers can seamlessly integrate their smartphones to take advantage of the EVO’s premium sound system and navigation functionality, or adjust the display to select a digital representation of the analogue dials fitted to the Mercedes-Benz EVO II.

Front and rear Recaro seats strike an ideal balance of comfort and support. HWA will also offer an extensive range of interior materials and colours to enable owners to personalise their cars. Further options include a road-legal fire extinguisher and an HWA EVO luggage set.

Potent powertrain with six-speed manual rear-drive format
When it came to powering the HWA EVO, no solution was considered off the table. “Given our expertise in zero-emission drivetrains, electric propulsion could have been a possible route," says von Schöning. “However, from the first customer consultations on the project, it was very apparent that owners wanted an internal combustion engine – something that would deliver real driving emotion.”

The original EVO II was powered by a Cosworth-tuned 2.5-litre 16-valve in-line four-cylinder engine producing 235PS. As HWA wanted its car to produce 450PS in ‘standard’ guise, combined with a high degree of longevity and reliability, a larger configuration engine was essential. Having evaluated all available options, it was crystal clear to the team that only a V6 powerplant could provide the optimum solution of low weight, compact packaging and agile handling.

HWA selected a contemporary Mercedes 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbocharged engine as the base for developing the power unit for the EVO. The company created a bespoke ECU system for the engine, which, like all electronic control units and electrical systems, including the wiring harness, is designed in-house at HWA.

“We wanted to create a highly agile and drivable car for both the road and track, and the compact V6 bi-turbo proved an ideal starting point to achieve those values,” explains Christiaan Liebeton – Technical Project Leader of Powertrain.

Drawing on HWA’s decades of motorsport expertise, Liebeton and his team implemented a raft of performance upgrades and packaging enhancements. These include introducing a bespoke dry sump lubrication system and purpose-designed intercooler.

“The dry sump system offers multiple benefits,” continues Liebeton, “significantly reducing the engine's height and lowering the car’s centre of gravity, which helps achieve higher cornering speeds. But no matter how intense the cornering forces are, the dry-sump system ensures a consistent oil supply to the engine. Similarly, while the upgraded intercooler increases performance, it also helps keep the engine cool under extreme driving conditions, such as multiple laps of the Nürburgring.”

The HWA team also leveraged its racing experience to redistribute weight within the engine bay by relocating ancillary components from the front of the V6 unit further back within the car. These include the starter motor, alternator, power steering pump, and compressor for the air-conditioning unit, which have been moved to the bell housing behind the engine, which also accommodates the clutch for the
rear-mounted six-speed manual gearbox. These enhancements have enabled the engine to be mounted lower down and further back in the engine bay to achieve an ideal front mid-mounted configuration. This allows the front axle to be positioned 50mm forward compared with the original car and contributes to an ideal 50/50 weight distribution.

In ‘standard’ guise, the HWA-prepared 3.0-litre bi-turbo V6 produces 450PS and 550Nm of torque and delivers a 270 km/168mph top speed. Upgrading to the ‘Affalterbach’ performance pack increases the engine’s power output to 500PS. The pack also includes revised gearing, enabling the EVO to reach a top speed of 300 km/185mph.

Race-derived suspension for a precision-focused drive on road and track
DTM-derived double wishbones with KW dampers are fitted front and rear, along with billet-machined wheel carriers. In the standard car, the dampers are adjusted manually, while the Affalterbach pack allows for adjustment to be electronically controlled from within the cabin.

The kinematic nature of the suspension also enables camber adjustment under intense track driving conditions, increasing stability during extreme cornering speeds.

In keeping with the original EVO II’s rear-wheel-drive format, the contemporary EVO adheres to a rear-drive transaxle layout. HWA has developed its own ESP system, incorporating ABS activation of the potent six-piston 380mm front and four-piston 360mm rear disc brakes, housed behind 19-inch front and 20-inch rear forged six-spoke wheels. A ceramic brake disc package is also available.

Highly limited build slots available
Embodying the past and future of HWA AG like no other car, the HWA EVO is priced from €714,000 (plus local taxes), with the first units expected to be delivered by the end of 2025. With a significant number of deposits already secured, those interested in further information regarding the allocation of HWA EVO build slots and chassis numbers should contact the company directly here.

With a production run strictly limited to 100 units, each HWA EVO is supplied with road-legal Certificate of Conformity documentation and a full 12-month 20,000km / 12,000-mile warranty.

The HWA EVO combines the successful history with the present and future of HWA AG. The reinterpretation of the legendary Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evo II is a tribute to this style icon of the early nineties. Based on the Mercedes-Benz W201 series, HWA AG has created a state-of-the-art car that combines the spirit of the past with the technology of today and tomorrow.

About HWA
From motor racing to perfect engineering: HWA is a 360° service provider with comprehensive technological and motorsport expertise in a multi-project environment. Formed in 1998 by Hans Werner Aufrecht and based in Affalterbach (Germany), the independent company fields the most successful team in the DTM and is a sought-after partner when it comes to developing high-performance cars. As specialists in special motor racing technology, together with the relevant development, support and logistics services, HWA is also responsible for many automotive and sustainability projects. With the HWA EVO, the Affalterbach-based company recently presented its first complete project for a road-legal sports car.

Jens Birkelbach
phone: +49 (7144) 8717- 211
email: presse@hwaag.com