Video: BMW E30 M3 vs. Mercedes-Benz W201 190E 2.3-16v and one of the greatest automotive history lessons

The original BMW M3 is highly regarded as one of the greatest of the 1980s homologation specials from Europe. But is it the greatest? Automotive journalist Jason Cammisa from Automobile Magazine’s Head 2 Head YouTube series tells the answer, while providing a very informative history lesson as to why the BMW M3 owes some respect to its biggest rival: the W201 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16v.

The baby zippy Benz’s big motorsports debut was on the Grand Prix circuit in 1984, where F1 drivers piloted 20 identical 190E 2.3-16v’s. The winner ended up being none other than Ayrton Senna, the most highly regarded driver in all of motorsports. At the time of this victory in the Benz, Senna was just an amateur Joe Schmoe.

But the moral of the story is that the E30 BMW M3 would not have come to existence if Mercedes-Benz hadn’t decided to produce the Cosworth-powered 190E 2.3-16v. To get the full idea, have a look at the video after the jump. It’s well worth the watch and very much the case of respecting the elders.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: MotorTrend