Mercedes-Benz Gets Its Shine On, Introduces Illuminated Three-Pointed Star Emblems
The three-pointed star emblem, whether it lives floating above a Mercedes-Benz’s hood or it’s stuffed into the grille, is one of the most recognizable brand marks in the world. Even so, Benz thinks the star can carry even more, er, star power and has introduced a new option for illuminating the emblem. Yes, this is a thing, and yes, Benz is seriously doing it. But hey—luxury buyers’ need to flaunt their purchases doesn’t wait for daylight.
Benz’s LED-illuminated badge is available in the Mercedes accessories catalog, and is dealer-installed. (Starting in August, the units can be ordered with new Benzes and port-installed.) Only a lit front star is available, and currently it is compatible with the C-, E-, GL-, GLK-, M-, and CLS-classes. The extra-bright star will set buyers back $480 before installation if ordered through a dealer, while port-installed units run $550 but carry no additional installation fee. Critically, the neat badge isn’t compatible with Benz’s Distronic radar-based adaptive cruise-control setup, which operates behind the emblem.
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For now, the emblem lights up under the following scenarios: upon unlocking the car (stays lit for 40 seconds) and when a door is opened (stays lit for up to five minutes). If the car is started or the doors are then closed, it turns off. A Mercedes representative tells us that a star that stays lit when the vehicle is in motion is being worked on, with details on that version due later. We kind of dig the look of the light-up Mercedes star, but we’re wary of other companies doing something similar. For example, with the current My-Badge-Is-Bigger-Than-Your-Badge war being waged among full-size pickup trucks, we’re not sure football-sized logos need illumination. Either way, it’s cool to see a manufacturer experiment with badge technology—we never thought we’d string those words together—especially given the near-ubiquity of LED running lights.