Luxury cars can be very beautiful and decorative. There is one decorative car feature that many buyers probably haven’t given much thought to, and that’s the hood ornament. This ornamental emblem has been vanishing over the years, but the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is one place where it can still be found.
The disappearance of the hood ornament
In the early 20th Century, sculptural hood ornaments served to hide external radiator caps and temperature gauges. Even once radiator caps moved under the hood and gauges moved onto the dashboard, hood ornaments remained, appearing on most cars between 1930 and 1950, explains Newsweek. Changes in fashion along with concerns in Europe that hood ornaments could impale pedestrians in accidents, worries they could increase drag and also fuel costs, or fears they could be subjected to theft led to their removal from car designs.
The hood ornament has been disappearing for quite a while, and Mercedes-Benz, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce are some of the few brands that still have cars sporting a hood ornament. The Mercedes star has appeared on hoods of vehicles since 1923, according to Newsweek, but its hood ornament is also on the way out. The three-pointed star in a circle hood ornament has already been removed from the C-Class, SL-Class, and others in the Mercedes-Benz lineup.
No more hood ornament for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class – unlike the Mercedes-Benz S-Class – is the most recent car from the brand to lose its hood ornament, according to MotorTrend. Even on the E-Class, the hood ornament didn’t come with all trim levels. It had previously come on the Luxury trim, where the grille was empty and the star rested on top of the hood. The Sport trim, which was more common, had a flat button with the Benz crest along with a modern grille with the three-pointed star in the middle. For 2021, the E-Class Luxury trim is no longer available.
Before the new generation in 2009, the hood ornament had been available on all versions of the E-Class. There is a version of the 2021 E-Class that’s sold in Europe with the older-style grill and hood ornament. MotorTrend suggests that ingenious owners may be able to switch out their grille and button for the European style.
There is a hood ornament on the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
It may be a bit of a relic these days, but the hood ornament is still available on several Mercedes-Benz vehicles. That includes the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan and the luxury Maybach GLS SUV. Like older-model Mercedes-Benz cars, the S-Class still features a plain grille with horizontal slats and the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star in a circle rising above the hood.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is all new and has a price increase of almost $16,000 too, according to MotorTrend. The starting price is now $110,850 for the S500 4Matic Luxury trim. It still remains Mercedes-Benz’s least-expensive flagship sedan.
This conservative-looking car has the latest tech and luxury features inside. Its infotainment touchscreen is 12.8 inches. It also has a surround-view camera to show a 3D view of the car. The six-cylinder engine, standard on the S500 4Matic, produces 429 hp and includes the Mercedes-Benz EQ Boost “mild-hybrid” technology. The S580 4Matic has a twin-turbo V8 engine, generating 496 hp.
The AMG trim includes a racier body kit, different floor mats, and unique wheels. The Executive trim provides four-zone climate control, power-adjustable rear seats, a rear-seat entertainment system that has two 11.6-inch screens, plus a rear-wheel steering system.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is expected to be available by the middle of 2021. Take a look at it for a chance to drive around behind one of the few current Mercedes-Benz hood ornaments.