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Which Performance Badges Are a Scam?

Which Performance Badges Are a Scam?


(engine roars) – Nismo. M. ST. When you saw those badges,
you knew the car was fast. (upbeat music)
(engine roaring) But if you buy one today, you
might be getting ripped off. Today, I’m gonna break down
which badges are worth it, and which ones are worthless vanity tax. When this video is over, you’ll be able to spot a true
performance badge and frauds. Big thank you to Honey for
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to diversify my bonds. You know what I’m saying? Before I get into the
state of badges today, you need to understand why
these badges are so cool and mean so much in car culture. Certain manufacturers
have always been known as performance brands. You got Aston Martin, Ferrari, McLaren. They all began as racing brands which then transitioned
into makers of bespoke, low-volume road cars, and as such, will always be known for producing cars which focus almost entirely
on speed and performance. But larger manufacturers out
there roll millions of cars off their production lines each year, from tiny hatchbacks to huge SUVs. These cars have a focus on functionality, fuel economy, and safety. However, these mass manufacturers
carve themselves out a little slice of performance by pitching performance
versions of everyday cars. Typically, performance badges
have one of two origins: The first is as the racing arm of an automotive
manufacturer, such as BMW’s M, formerly known as BMW Motorsport. They ended up producing the legendary BMW 3.0 CSL, or Batmobile. This homologation special wherein
a manufacturer is mandated to produce a certain number
of road-going versions of cars they wish to race is how we got some of our most
cherished road cars today. Following that, BMW Motorsport got to work producing their first ground-up car and the first full M car,
the aptly named BMW M1. This, again, was a low-volume
homologation special. All 456 road cars became
incredibly desirable and sold out instantly, which gave BMW the idea to start applying their newly formed M badge to consumer cars,
(cash register rings) the first of which was
the 1979 M535i version of the E12 5 Series. It featured a whole
host of components taken from BMW Motorsport’s
stock of racing parts, even sharing a few pieces with the M1. It was so different from
the regular 5 Series in almost every aspect, and really highlights the
performance badge idea of developing a hot, fast version of a standard road car using
technology from racing. From then on, practically every BMW car and generation would have an M version, most notably the M3 and the M5. Love that E39. With the exception of
low-volume, hand-built cars such as McLaren and Ferrari,
who we mentioned earlier, performance badges used to
be the most exclusive cars on the road, sometimes even more so. Performance-badged cars
were made in limited numbers and available only to those whom performance was the
main reason to buy a car and had the money to do so. Around the turn of the century, though, this all began to change. Other brands had caught up to BMW and started building
badged cars of their own, and unfortunately, the
marketing departments of these massive manufacturers
began to see the potential in badging other cars
as performance badges, even though they weren’t
the top-performing versions of those cars. So I think it’s time to ask, which badges are good
and which ones are bad? Let’s start with the biggest offenders and make our way to the ones
that still mean something. We trashed on ’em last week,
so I think it’s only right that we start with Nissan’s Nismo. (funky music) Formed in 1984 when Nissan merged two of
their motorsport departments, Nismo went on to develop legends such as the R31 Skyline GTS-R, the 370Z, and of course, the Nissan GTR Nismo. Nowadays though, the Nismo badge is also on the back of the Juke small SUV, the Sentra, and the European-only Pulsar. Hmm. The Nismo Sentra doesn’t
make any more power than the Sentra SR Turbo, but does come with some slightly
better all-weather tires and larger brake rotors. It also has lowered suspension. Unfortunately, this doesn’t
make the Nismo Sentra any better than the competition, according to Car and Driver, but I will give it props for coming with a manual transmission, and honestly, I think the
Sentra Nismo looks pretty good. Back to BMW. BMW currently produces eight full M cars. However, they produce an
incredible 20 M performance cars, most of which have very little in the way of a performance increase, focusing instead on trim levels
and M-like design features. The M performance line was created to fill the gap between base BMWs and the increasingly expensive M cars, and you can identify them by the smaller M badge
preceding the model number. They’ve got upgraded lower suspension, sports steering wheel and shifter, and usually some sporty-looking trim, but the horsepower ratings
typically don’t get a huge boost. I mean, does the X2 really
need an M performance edition? Who is buying a little
mini crossover and saying, “Man, I wish this thing had
a sportier steering wheel.” It just really waters down
the M brand if you ask me. Audi, who we haven’t talked about much, is also guilty of this. Building upon the rally and road successes of the Audi Quattro, in 1983 they founded Quattro GmbH, a department responsible for
all Audi sports car production. Then they continued to
develop amazing race and road cars through
the turn of the century. Today though, Audi applies the Quattro and S names to many of its
fairly regular road cars, from crossovers to hatchbacks and SUVs, none of which share in
Audi’s performance heritage, past or present. Audi’s S line cars are borrowing more and more accessories and styling cues from the performance-oriented
S, RS, and R cars, yet in terms of specifications, they are no different to
the base-level SE cars, so that’s a little egregious to me. Another main way performance
brands tend to materialize is as independent tuning
shops who, over time, develop a relationship with
a specific manufacturer before usually being bought
out and brought in-house. This is true of German mark AMG, which was founded in 1967
as an engine tuning shop by some former Mercedes employees, and worked successfully
with Mercedes for years before being bought out and brought into the
Daimler-Mercedes Group in 1999. While full AMG cars are fitted
with hand-built AMG engines and feature ground-up suspension
and handling redesigns, the AMG Line Mercedes, of which there are frankly
way too many to count, offer some AMG styling and a few token suspension
and braking upgrades, some as minimal as painted brake calipers. Huge effort is spent
fitting AMG-line floor mats, shiny silver sports pedals,
carbon-fiber effect trim, and our friend, the sports-tuned exhaust. For example, the cheapest way
into true AMG ownership is to buy the A45 AMG S. Thanks to its AMG tuning, it is the fastest
A-Class by a huge margin, and has been referred to
by many as a super hatch, thanks to its 415 horsepower. 415 horsepower in a hatch? What?
(man mimics explosion) Zero to 60 in 3.9 seconds. It’s faster than a new 911 Carrera. Compare that though to
the AMG Line A-Class, which, at a cost of $2,000
over the standard SE A-Class, gets you 18-inch AMG alloys,
(metal clanking) AMG side sill panels, a diamond grill. It essentially has the same internals as the standard A-Class: same stop speed, same zero
to 60, same everything. It has all the looks of
the performance models with none of the additional performance. Do you see what I mean here? I don’t like this. (upbeat music) Ford’s interesting. Ford Performance puts their ST badge, which is a little bit lesser
to their all-out RS brand, on the Fiesta and Focus, as well as producing special
performance-badge versions of the Mustang and F-150,
namely the Shelby and Raptor. I’ve gotta say that in my opinion, almost all these cars are great, particularly the Fiesta and Focus ST. Love those freaking things. However, I do think that
Ford compromised the ST badge as soon as they made an ST spec of their compact SUV, the Edge. I’ve driven the Edge ST, and
while it is pretty quick: I mean, I don’t know. (laughs) It feels nothing like
a traditional ST car, which is a shame. Ford have since put out the Explorer ST, which I think indicates their intentions for the ST badge in the future. Also, anecdotally, I think
I’ve only ever seen one Edge ST on the street, so I think it
was all for nothing sales-wise. With ST, the highs are really high (engine roars) and the lows are kinda low. (engine roars)
(upbeat music) In 2009, after what felt like
an eternity of speculation, Toyota announced the return of the Supra: a three-liter engine, 340 horsepower, and a silhouette to make a grown man weep. It’s beautiful. This is the resurrection
of the Supra brand and also the crowning achievement in the reinvigoration of the GR, or Gazoo Racing performance badge. That’s right, it’s called Gazoo. (kazoo humming) Toyota have come in hot
for 2019 with a brand-new performance-badge car
delivering actual performance. I rode in a Supra GR at an autocross and that thing freaking ripped! Also in 2018, they won both their first
World Rally Championship and their first outright
24 Hour of Le Mans victory, all of which helped them in honing their
performance-badge road cars, all good signs for the
future of Toyota and GR. Go Gazoo, baby. (funky music) (engine roars) Hyundai have also got in on
the performance badge thing, launching their own N brand performance, headed up by none other
than former of BMW M and the father of M cars, Albert Biermann. With their born-in-Namyang,
honed-on-the-Nurburgring ethos, Hyundai M have produced a series of seriously good performance cars since the formation in 2015, jointly developing with
their motorsport arm, who in 2019, won their first-ever
World Rally Championship. Good job, guys, which I think proves
that the N badge is good. They are gonna make some
N line cars this year, so we’ll see. We’ll see, Hyundai. I’m watching you. I’m watching you. Last up is the badge
that was least diluted by the manufacturer: Honda’s Type R. It’s kind of a cop-out right now because there’s only one
car with the Type R badge, the Civic Type R, but if you look through
the badge’s history, you’ll see a ton of great cars that were truly meant to perform. The DC2 Integra Type R
is a dream car of mine. I must own one. These badges mean a lot to nerds like me. It’s my opinion that manufacturers should
not trade their heritage for a boost in sales,
like some of these brands on this list are in the process of doing. If they’re not careful,
people might forget what these badges stood
for in the first place. Follow me on Instagram and
Twitter at nolanjsykes. Follow Donut at donutmedia. We got cool shows coming out this year. We say that every year,
but, I mean (laughs) Be kind. See you next time. Christmas break was great. Relaxed. (sighs) That thing freaking rips! That thing freaking rips! Love it.

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54 thoughts on “Which Performance Badges Are a Scam?

  1. Gotta say, I disagree with this video. I'm an Audi guy, so speaking with that brand as an example.
    1. The "QUATTRO" badge is not a performance badge. It denotes four wheel drive and only appears on cars with four wheel drive.
    2. "S-lines" are the normal cars with sportier looks. Usually bigger wheels, lowered suspension different bumpers and skirts, etc. And every one agrees they look way better than standard cars. For people who can't afford or don't want an S or RS car, these are perfect. Having the economy of a 2.0tdi but with a sport look. Who wouldn't want that?!
    3. Also in the used car market the S-lines command quite a bit more money than standard models, so it's actually an investment to get an S-line as you'll see more money back on the other end 👍👍

  2. Quattro at Audi stands for 4 wheel drive, not more, you should know that and not get it confusas with S or RS, the later the actual sporty Audis.

  3. The Badge Police is a bad trade of the automotive world .
    Its those car guys that want to be exclusive and stand out cause they spent there money on the top of the range
    while the neighbor really dont give a damn in his SUV or Luxury vehicle but would like some extra sporty LOOKS .
    Your badge is not going to get the milk quicker or make the holiday trip much better .
    However sport line models appeals to everyone and the auto maker .

  4. These two guys who loved knocking on my door to give me a Bible study need the "M" badge to increase their conversion performance power.

  5. I don't like how you think the Type R is intact while BMW with only fast sporty cars gets the M badge. M340i has 374 hp. The X2 and X1 35i has 306 hp. While you can get the M package on every car so they are not perfect they only add M to the name it's a sport car. The X1 is not sporty compared to M3 but compared to other small SUVs it's sporty. M8 is not sporty compared to a Ferrari 488 Pista but it's class it's sporty. Mercedes puts AMG badges on a few too many cars but the 63 still means V8 while other down size.

  6. Yeah, i agree with comment section – VIDEO is a Scam(!) and clickbait, not the companies:
    Host, even in video approve statements, where many of them (auto-companies) – WAS said, like "many of that badges – is high-end editions, not the scams".

    Also, what is funny to see why this guys – don't know about cars at all:
    1)>Тalks about "Type R" – in honda
    >Forgets about "Type S" series – which, is in some sort was related to video (Yes, you CAN say it's a "SCAM badge")

    2)>Talks about Toyota
    >Try to defense them
    >But TOYOTA – IS REAL No.1 company of making a scam "performance badges" (and i'm for real)
    >Like, greets to Toyota "TRD"-carline
    >Or even "ISF" – in Lexus (which IS Toyota parent company, if somebody forget)

    In the end, whole video is just, you can called – "Some american auto-weaboo/poser/pseudo-carfan don't know for sh..t about car editions."

    Like for example:
    1)Ford was stated – "ST" came from UK, and even then, what was used for last edition in car specs:
    Basic versions and editions>"Chia" versions (EU, Russians and many other people outside USA – know what i'm talking about)>EcoBoost>Titatium Editions ("Basic" and "Black")>ST>RS

    2)BMW already was said – " "M" cars is real performance, and "M Performance" – just high-end edition of basic cars ", what even said on release of "M Performance" Cars.

    3)Audi's "Quattro" – is just a name for AWD/4WD cars, you dumbf..ck. How you can forget about that – WHEN YOU SHOW A AUDI QUATTRO?!
    S-Line – not a scam. For idiots, Audi – many years ago was already stated – " "S-line" is just top end cosmetic versions/package of the cars".
    List go like this:
    Basic version of the cars>Quattro (Remember – it is more like a AWD/4WD pack)>S-line>S>R>RS

    4)What funny about Ford – he didn't mention about "Ford of America" – which is LOVED a scam's performance badges. But like in Russian Modern Proverb – "Our sh..t – we don't like to see…"(…"but not yours sh..t – do love criticize")

    5)About America – how about a another's american car brands WHICH IS LOVED TOO(!) a scam's "performance badges"? Hello, Jeep "Trail Rated" car line!

    6)Didn't mention a Subaru – STi line. Was a some sort – a scam badge.
    (If you forget – basic versions>STi>WRX STi Editions)

    7)"SRT line" in american cars (no, the REAL "SRT" Cars)
    Or even "RAM" line – in pick-up trucks/cars. "R/T" (On american minivans (YES, THE REAL SPORT BADGE ON FREAKING MINIVAN OFFICIALLY), like WTH?!) and etc.

    8)Mercedes:
    He even mentioned – this is not a scam.
    Goes like this: Basic versions>Top packages (Like SE)>Bluetec(high perfomance and hybrid cars)>4matic(AWD/4WD package)>"AMG-line" (can go without a badge) > and the REAL AMG cars.

    9)Don't talk about "Mazdaspeed" car line – which is was in some sort was a literal scam, where even was a some controversy about it.

    10)>Talks about Toyota Supra 2020
    >Didn't talks or even mention about car itself – IS A SCAM

    Like many people already forget – IT IS BASED ON FREAKIN BMW Z4 2019?! (Yes, it even was mention officially)

  7. This video wasn’t really thought out was it??? He’s talking more about trim levels than anything. Additionally he referenced the M-lite models although not full fat M cars are amazing vehicles in their own right. I suggest he drives an M1/240i and see how that compares to the respective top of the range non M badged vehicles.

  8. you forgot the worst of all STI . Take a boring subaru with CVT transmision , paint it blue , put sme fake carbon fibre and a STI badge.

  9. This is rich, the host is critical of performance, lol. Hey, how about you loose your GUT first, THEN talk about performance. Take care of your own house (literally) before you worry about the performance of others. This is like Honey BooBoo, commenting on which olympic gymnast needs to perform better and loose weight. Credibility just isn't there.

  10. He got m performance and m sport mixed up they're two different things also m performance does include more hp and isn't just a trim

  11. I feel like the S line and AMG package comparison isn’t in line with the other brands because it’s a cosmetic styling package only? Audi S range (S3, S5 etc) and the AMG A35’s might be a bit more fair.
    Ps I love your videos bruh

  12. You mentioned GR but TRD is like a much worse version of Gazoo Racing that Toyota still slaps on trucks just to significantly raise the price.

  13. I just want to share a story. My husband and I have two “performance” cars, at the moment: BMW M3 (E46) & X6M. It’s the M3, that I want to talk about. That car, for some reason, is BELOVED…and spoofed…quite a bit.

    Well, one day, we were pulling into our favourite, local breakfast joint, and its tiny parking lot, with said M3. Next to the only open spot, is some regular BMW 3-series, kitted out with badges (and more) to make it seem like an M3. But, of course, when we pulled-in next to it, there was a stark difference between a real M3, and that poser. Seeing the kid who owned the counterfeit, it was weirdly kind of flattering, because he obviously wants our exact car (paint colour and all). What a coincidence to have the only open spot right next to it.

    But yeah… I see a fair number of fake Ms around…I mean, besides “M Sport”. I’m just glad mine are both vrai.

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