BADGE BAFFLEMENT

Edric grap­ples with Ger­man model-num­ber­ing con­ven­tions.

Torque (Singapore) - - HYUNDAI SPECIAL -

OONCE upon a time, the pre­mium Ger­man car­mak­ers badged their mod­els ac­cord­ing to en­gine ca­pac­ity. A Mercedes E280, for in­stance, was an E-Class with a 2.8-litre en­gine, and a BMW 318i was a 1.8-litre 3 Se­ries. Nice and log­i­cal. Then for some rea­son around the mid-1990s, the Ger­mans de­cided to base the model num­ber on a “deemed” en­gine ca­pac­ity pegged to the car’s out­put, rather than the ac­tual en­gine ca­pac­ity.

The first in­stance I can re­call of this prac­tice was the 1995 E39 BMW 523i, which de­spite its name, had a 2.5-litre straight-6, not a 2.3-litre. BMW, per­haps out of em­bar­rass­ment at the slightly un­der­whelm­ing 170bhp of their ul­ti­mate driv­ing ma­chine, had opted to “down­badge” it. At that time, no other BMW mod­els were sim­i­larly af­flicted – a 520i was still a 2-litre, a 728i was still a 2.8-litre and so on.

MercedesAMG A45 is an “up­badged” 2-litre 4-pot, al­beit one with 381bhp.

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