Date registered: Oct 2003
Vehicle: CL500, E430, SLK, Subaru...
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It may not bother you to see other people doing the stick-on badge thing; the problem is, it certainly DOES bother those who treat the whole driving experience as an outlet for repressed emotions. My view of those who stick on the extra badges (and it does happen as much with BMW M-power stuff as with AMG, and with Abarth on FIATs, and let's not even think about Subaru) is that they are far more aggressive in their driving style.
This aggression is associated in most people's minds with the badge, after a while, so if you are driving about in a sensible way (which real AMGs make very easy, just as easy as going stupid-fast) then you get to collect on all that negative karma. Drive a range of vehicles on the same streets and the difference is pretty stark - I can sometimes make much better progress in the Citroen ZX (value: less than the wheels on the E55!) than in any of the Mercs, because people don't notice it.
My last AMG (now in the hands of drjan here) is completely debadged. It's so stealthy that people walk up and ask what size of wheels I bought to go on my C180 - they really have no idea it's a 4.3 V8, until they get right up close. The "keeping a low profile" advantage of this is so marked that I am considering debadging the E55 - the status I get from it comes not from the badge, but from sucking people's headlights out, anyway.
London, right in the middle
03 CL500 (Black/Grey, 48k, Comand, 7GTronic, Keyless Go) 302 Bhp
01 E430 (Silver/Black, 112k, Comand, Lingua, 7 seats, tow...) 275 Bhp
97 SLK (40k, Yellowstone, partner's car!) 200 Bhp
03 A210 AMG (Black/Black, 63k, project rescue car) 140 Bhp
...I make that 917 Bhp...!