Are you aware that this year marks the 35th anniversary of Mercedes-Benz revealing its W201 compact executive? Yep, 35 years, and to these eyes at least it's looking better than ever inside and out - although clearly there may be a hint of bias attached to that statement.

A little recap, if you will. After its reveal late in 1982, Mercedes initially offered the W201 as a 190 or 190E, both with a 2.0-litre petrol engine, but with the 'E' featuring electronically controlled injection rather than a carburettor and hence getting more power. Later, in 1983, a 'whisper diesel' 190D model joined the range, although it probably seemed more of a whisper then than it does now. By 1984, things had got a bit more interesting with the introduction of the 16v four-cylinder 2.3-litre petrol which had a giddy 182bhp and a Cosworth cylinder head. 

Then came a six-cylinder petrol in 1987, a sleepy but refined 2.6-litre, although the famous Cosworth four-cylinder 2.5-litre unit of 1988's facelift demands more attention - it's the engine that was tinkered with further before being fitted to the limited-run Evo DTM homologation models.