Mercedes is the latest manufacturer to lock auto features behind a subscription fee, with an upcoming “Acceleration Increase” add-on that lets drivers pay to access motor performance their vehicle is already capable of.
The $1,200 yearly subscription improves performance by boosting output from the motors by 20–24 percent, increasing torque, and shaving around 0.8 to 0.9 seconds off 0–60 mph acceleration when in Dynamic drive mode (via The Drive). The subscription doesn’t come with any physical hardware upgrades — instead, it simply unlocks the full capabilities of the vehicle, indicating that Mercedes intentionally limited performance to later sell as an optional extra. Acceleration Increase is only available for the Mercedes-EQ EQE and Mercedes-EQ EQS electric car models.
This comes just months after BMW sparked outrage by similarly charging an $18 monthly subscription in some countries for owners to use the heated seats already installed within its vehicles, just one of many features paywalled by the car manufacturer since 2020. BMW had previously also tried (and failed) to charge its customers $80 a month to access Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — features that other vehicle makers have included for free.
So they are basically saying you don’t really own the product you spent around $100 000,- to buy.