JALOPNIK TREND ALERT: Humblebadging

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:

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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????”

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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.

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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.

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About the author

Michael Ballaban

Deputy Editor, Jalopnik. 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross.

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