Mercedes-Benz star illuminated

It sounds strange, but the logo is one of the most important aspects of a vehicle’s design—and no one knows that better than Mercedes-Benz. My colleague Ed Lapham of Automotive News reported years ago that Wolfgang Bernhard, who is touted as Dieter Zetsche’s successor at Daimler, once pointed out another carmaker’s logo and asked: “Why would an automaker take its logo, which should be an icon of the brand, and make it a trunk release button so that fingers continually touch and debase the emblem?” Perhaps Bernhard, who served a stint at Volkswagen—a company known for using its rear emblem for trunk-opening duty—a few years after this comment, is behind Daimler’s latest offering: An illuminated three-pointed star, which draws extra attention to the logo at night.

The LED system can be dealer-installed on the current C-, E-, GL-, GLK-, M-, and CLS-class models. Mercedes, for its part, calls it “bright, but sophisticated.” The star will be available on further models down the road, but only on those not equipped with the optional Distronic radar-based adaptive cruise-control system. Those vehicles wear a hologram-like emblem instead of a solid star, a feature that is jokingly referred to in the design community as “star in aspic.”

Opel Oschersleben

By Jens Meiners