Confusing performance trim badges

Rant: I really find performance trim badges annoying. “R” used to mean something for VW, “M” was a special BMW, “AMG” was definitely not a cosmetic upgrade for a Mercedes, and “ST” would not show up on a Ford SUV. Am I overreacting? And, while it annoys me, is there business risk of diluting a valuable brand, or are they smart to get as much value out of performance labels as possible?

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