With EVs increasingly reliant on software, automakers are trying to extract more money from their customers via a highly unwanted feature: unlockable performance. For instance, Mercedes-Benz announced that a performance acceleration in-demand upgrade is available for EQE and EQS customers via an OTA (over-the-air) update.
Most people see it for what it truly is – a money-making scheme. It’s not like Mercedes is actually changing or adding any components to make the car faster. It’s all done through code and software; you won’t need to visit a dealership. Instead, you only need an internet connection to access the brand’s store. Unfortunately, this trend will probably become even more popular in the car industry, as we’ve already seen in other EVs, such as the Kia EV9. Furthermore, BMW offers heated seats on a monthly subscription.
Mercedes-Benz not only provides the update as a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, but it can also be acquired via a monthly or yearly subscription. Imagine hopping in your car one day and forgetting to pay the subscription – you’ll have to either pay up or get used to a less powerful machine.
The update is available for EQE 350 4MATIC, EQS 450 4MATIC Sedan, and SUV customers in North America. It boosts the vehicle’s power by up to 80 hp while enhancing 0-60 mph (97 kph) acceleration by as much as a second. Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz claims that the enhancements will have no impact on the EV’s range.
Specifically, the eligible EQE models will have increased output from 288 hp to 348 hp. The SUV variant will be one full second faster (total 5.1 seconds) to get to 60 mph from a standstill, while the Sedan will be 0.1 seconds slower. Moreover, select EQS models will get an 80 hp upgrade for a total output of 235 hp. The Sedan version will have a 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.5 seconds, while the SUV will be 0.4 seconds slower.
Let’s take a look at pricing. For the EQE, customers looking to benefit from additional power will have to pay $60 for the extra 60 horsepower based on the monthly subscription, $600 for the yearly one, or a one-time fee of $1,950, ensuring they’ll have the upgrade for the entire lifetime of the vehicle. EQS owners will have to empty more out of their bank account – $90 per month, $900 a year, or $2,950 for the lifetime unlock.
Customers must access the Mercedes me Connect store to purchase the upgrades. That’s also where they can discover other various On-Demand improvements, such as Remote Engine Start, AMG Track Pace, Beginner Driver and Valet Service Modes, Navigation features, and more. Mercedes-Benz said that “Hardwired, standard features, such as heated seats, will not be offered as digital extras” but plans on adding more offerings in its store in the following months.