The planned “Acceleration Increase” add-on will allow owners to pay to access the motor performance that their vehicle is currently capable of, and Mercedes is the latest automaker to do so. The new service, which can reduce the acceleration time of an EQ vehicle by 0.8 to 1.0 seconds, costs $1,200 for a full year of service (excluding of taxes). It follows competitor automaker BMW’s earlier this year launch of a heated seat subscription service.
The Mercedes-EQ EQE 350 and EQS 450 automobiles, as well as its SUV versions, will be the first to offer the function for sale in the US. It is then anticipated that it would expand to other car types and countries. The Mercedes US web store claims that the innovation “electronically boosts” both the motor’s power and torque. A Mercedes-EQ 350 SUV will be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour (mph) in about 5.2 seconds as opposed to 6.2 seconds without the subscription, according to the company’s estimate of a 20 to 24 percent increase in output.
In order to maintain a continual cash stream long after a car has been purchased, automakers have switched to selling software upgrades and features as subscriptions since new car sales throughout the world have declined recently. Mercedes paywalling its vehicle performance is part of an emerging, more abhorrent trend whereby auto brands restrict the capabilities of hardware that is already factory-equipped with the vehicle. While this makes sense for some software-specific offerings (such as premium navigation features or remote vehicle monitoring), Mercedes paywalling its vehicle performance is contrary to the company’s stated mission. When “Acceleration Increase” becomes available, which the company’s website indicates will be “soon,” Mercedes will probably be more interested in how many buyers actually purchase it.
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