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Shiny Hood Ornament's Not Enough? Light It Up!

Let's be honest, for many car buyers the hood ornament or badge on the front of the car is their way of making a statement, especially with luxury brands. Well, Mercedes-Benz is taking its iconic three point star and putting a new shine on it, by offering a Benz badge that lights up.

Make no mistake, this will be the coolest feature some buyers will gladly show off by driving their new Benz to in front of neighbor's homes after dusk. Mercedes introduced the option with a video highlighting the many incarnations of the Mercedes star over the years.

Mercedes is offering the illuminated star on select models including the new E-Class, the M-Class, GL-Class and CLS-Class sedans. In some cases, depending on the model year, Mercedes dealers can retrofit the LED lighting feature. Mercedes described the new illuminated star as, "Bright, but sophisticated. And it's your opportunity to announce to the world: 'This is my Mercedes-Benz!'"

Big and Bright Badges The New Trend?

For years, hood ornaments were truly ornaments sticking up and announcing that you were driving a Mercedes-Benz or Cadillac or, if you could really afford it, a Rolls-Royce with the "Spirit of Ecstasy." Over the years fewer cars carried hood ornaments and more transitioned to badges on the front grill. At first, they were fairly discreet, but not anymore. Now they are big and pronounced. Clearly the designers of cars got the memo from the marketing folks about the importance of plastering the brand on a particular model so everybody knows what's driving down the street.

(Read More: Mercedes Ups Tech and Luxury, Keeps S-Class on Top)

In recent years, as more people worked on ways to customize their cars, adding LED lighting to accent features of the car has mad the badge on the grill a new frontier. Go online and you'll find plenty of kits that let you re-do your badge so it's illuminated, often in a variety of different colors.

Now Mercedes is bringing the feature to big Benz star in the front grill. You have to wonder, what's next? Will other automakers follow the Mercedes lead when it comes to LED accents on the hood badge?

(Read More: Lux for Less: Mercedes Reaches Out to Young US Buyers)

—By CNBC's Phil LeBeau. Follow him on Twitter @LeBeauCarNews

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com


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