HWA AG presents EVO ‘Concept Demonstrator’, reveals technical details

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.

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.”

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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.

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