Mercedes-Benz Lets You Light Up Your Hood Ornament

Mercedes-Benz's new dealer-installed illuminated logo option kind of looks like the glowing arc reactor in Iron Man's chest — though anyone who's seen the blockbuster films knows Tony Stark's luxury brand of choice is Audi. Still, it's not Robert Downey Jr. who stars in Mercedes-Benz's new commercial, but the automaker's three-pointed star itself, now illuminated with LED and light-tube technology to further punctuate the point, just in case the standard iconic logo wasn’t enough for luxury shoppers.

The video ad, posted to YouTube on Wednesday, features a photographic retrospective of Mercedes models through the decades that have borne the three-pointed star; it's accompanied by a sweeping orchestral score. The ad tempts viewers with the taglines, "Mercedes-Benz has offered the star for years … now we even make it shine," and "Discover the Illuminated Star."

According to AutoBlog, installation of the option is available at dealerships on the 2014 E-Class, GL-Class SUVs starting with the 2013 model year, M-Class SUVs starting with 2012 and CLS-Class sedans starting with 2006. The enthusiast publication called the look "classy" but we wonder if it takes the trend of LED lighting a bit too far and could even be distracting on the road.

What do you think? Is the illuminated star classier? Gimmicky? Render your judgment in the comment section below.

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News Editor Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers.  Email Matt