Improved performance always comes at a price when it comes to buying a new car, whether it’s extra money for a more powerful engine version or extra money through an annual subscription payment to ‘catch’ 100km/h in some seconds less.
And yet, Mercedes is expected to soon offer owners of the company’s EQ electric vehicles the option to “unlock” extra power and greater acceleration for an annual subscription worth $1,200 (plus tax). Welcome to the future.
The practice of automakers adopting the subscription model in their industry to provide popular features on a subscription basis is a growing trend. This is largely a by-product of more and more new cars being able to use the modern, wireless technology that enables OTA (Over-The-Air) updates. Of course, charging customers/consumers with monthly or annual subscriptions for features or content that could be described as typical or standard may, as BMW learned the hard way with its attempt to… charge an annual subscription for Apple CarPlay .
However, such on-demand capabilities and features are not going anywhere and will probably become the norm in the future. But today, we don’t know how many have a positive view of Mercedes’ “Acceleration Increase” feature that is on the company’s online store and will soon be available to its customers.
What exactly can Mercedes-Benz’s $1,200 annual subscription get you? Depending on the model, it is said to reduce the time the vehicle can reach 100 km/h from a standstill by 0.8 to 1.0 seconds. The company says that the all-wheel-drive EQE350 4Matic and EQS450 4Matic in sedan and SUV configurations are the ones that can “receive” the upgrade.
Along with higher acceleration, Mercedes says the ‘Acceleration Increase’ package increases the maximum efficiency of the electric motors. Along with more torque, EQE350 models gain an additional 60 hp (349 hp total) and EQS450 models gain an additional 87 hp (443 hp total).
It is currently unclear whether the performance upgrade via the annual subscription is also available on the remaining models in the EQE350 and EQS450 series. Currently, Mercedes doesn’t say on its website when someone can buy and activate the feature, whether they have to visit a dealership first (because it might require hardware intervention) or if just an Over-The-Air software update will suffice. .