Mercedes will unlock your $100,000 electric car's full power — for an extra $1,200 per year
- Mercedes-Benz will offer a $1,200-per-year "acceleration Increase" feature for some electric cars.
- The add-on boosts power output and slightly improves zero-to-60-mph times for some models.
Let's say you're tired of hitting 60 mph in only 5.3 seconds and want to get to highway speed a smidge faster. Is that worth a $1,200-per-year subscription to you?
Mercedes-Benz hopes the answer is yes.
The German carmaker now lists "acceleration increase" as an option for some electric models in its online store, The Drive first reported. The add-on feature will cost $1,200 per year and is "coming soon," according to Mercedes-Benz's website.
Customers who pay the fee will unlock between 20% and 24% more power output from their electric Mercedes. The upgrade will also boost torque and shave up to one second off of a vehicle's zero-to-60-mph time, Mercedes says. It'll be available for the EQE and EQS sedans, as well as the EQE and EQS SUVs.
With the upgrade, the roughly $108,000 EQS 450 4Matic model will hit 60 mph from a standstill in 4.5 seconds, down from 5.3. The EQE SUV gets the biggest improvement, from 6.2 seconds down to 5.2.
A Mercedes-Benz spokesperson did not respond to questions about when the feature will go on sale and whether it will be available as an up-front option.
As vehicles become increasingly internet-connected, car companies from Mercedes-Benz to BMW to Stellantis plan to make billions off of software services. That includes asking customers to pay up for features after they buy a vehicle. Some carmakers already offer capabilities like remote start and automatic high beams for monthly or annual fees.
But consumers aren't quite sold on the idea of paying extra over time for things that they think should be included up front.
In 2019, BMW scrapped a plan to charge $80 per year for Apple CarPlay after widespread backlash. Three-quarters of consumers aren't willing to pay a subscription fee for most car features, according to an April survey from Cox Automotive. They're particularly repelled by the idea of paying for heated and cooled seats.
If passed, a bill in New Jersey would prohibit car manufacturers from offering subscriptions for features that use built-in hardware and don't cost anything to provide over time.
Mercedes-Benz offers a host of post-purchase capabilities in addition to the upcoming power boost. For $35 per month, owners can start their engines remotely through an app. A one-time fee of $200 adds on a dashcam by tapping into a car's forward-facing camera. And there's another feature coming soon: For $16 per month, owners can buy "Beginner Driver and Valet Service mode," which limits a car's top speed.
Clearly, Mercedes thinks buyers will place a higher value on going faster than going slower. It's probably right about that.
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