We’ve all seen it. Some slightly scruffy, previous-generation Mercedes S-Class of unknowable provenance, festooned in both ///AMG and Maybach badges. It cannot be both. It is neither. The up-badging must stop, but thankfully a new TREND is emerging: Humblebadging.


“Humblebadging,” as David Tracy coined it, also known as “modesty badging,” as Jason Torchinsky calls it, this HOT NEW TREND was spotted on Twitter the other night, while I was unusually fatigued:

The idea is simple. You take your fresh hotness, your new fast car, with its big chin and its fat tailpipes and it’s thin sidewalls and big tires, and you slap a humbler badge on it. Your BMW M5 becomes a 518i. Your BMW M3 becomes a 316. Your S65 AMG becomes an S320.

It becomes a bit more understated, a bit more elegant. A bit humble. It’s the perfect antidote for a world in which everyone is trying to make you think their car is more than it is.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “This blog schmuck gets three beers deep, sees two tweets from random British dudes, and immediately declares it to be a TREND????”


But shutup!!!! This is how TRENDs start!!!!!!!

Anyways, you get extra points if the badge is remotely appropriate (i.e., a 5 Series badge on a 5 Series), if the badge denotes a level of humility that is as small as the manufacturer would go, and extra extra points if it denotes a car that was never sold wherever you are.


So if you’re driving through New Jersey with the one BMW 518i? Well then you’ve got the one cool thing in New Jersey.

Please, please make this a thing now. And send me any Lexus IS200 badges you may have.

Deputy Editor, Jalopnik. 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross.


Not really sure how I feel about this. It’s the opposite of the people who stick AMG and M badges on their C300/328i, but if you really don’t care if people know that your car is a sports model, how is this at ALL better than just the full de-badge treatment. De-badging looks great, makes the car look cleaner, and draws less attention.

Plus humblebadging only matters to people who know what badges are and what they mean, and anyone that likes cars will see something is up when they see something that looks like an M5 with a “518" badge.

‘Humblebadge’ is a play on ‘humblebrag’ and I’d say it’s appropriate, by going in the totally opposite direction, the end result is very nearly as bad.