The subscription model, which we are far more accustomed to for software rather than hardware, appears to be gaining traction in the automotive space in recent years. Adding an extra feature, such as heated seats, or improving your vehicle’s performance required configuring it at the dealership or visiting a service center after the fact. Someone does differently nowadays things.
The subscription and pay-to-use model is becoming alarmingly ubiquitous, with Tesla offering a $2,000 Acceleration Boost or a Full Self Driving software subscription, and KTM and BMW taking it a step further with a subscription service that merely unlocks pre-installed hardware that would otherwise be locked behind a paywall. Toyota’s Remote Connect and Chevrolet’s Remote Access, at the very least, offer multi-year trial periods before charging to use the features.
Mercedes-Benz is the latest in a long line of automakers to charge customers for access to performance and features that the hardware is already capable of.
Mercedes-Benz is selling a subscription to owners of its all-electric EQ lineup to increase the maximum power output of the onboard electric motors. According to the Acceleration Increase store page, the EQE 350 4MATIC, EQS SUV 350 4MATIC, EQS 450 4MATIC, and EQS SUV 450 4MATIC are eligible for the upgrade, which will cost $1,200 per year, excluding tax. The automaker claims that the upgrade improves performance by tuning the motors’ power and torque output.
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Mercedes-Benz claims that performance increases range from 35 kW in the EQE 350 and EQE SUV 350 (from 215 kW to 260 kW) to 65 kW in the EQS 450 and EQS SUV 450. (from 265 kW to 330 kW). The increased power and torque result in a fairly significant increase in off-the-line performance, with Mercedes-Benz claiming that 0-60 mph times will be reduced by 0.8 to 1 second, with the EQS 450 4MATIC’s 0-60 time coming in at just 4.5 seconds.