Downloading options is becoming real.
The Mercedes-Benz EQS is absolutely loaded with new technology that is absolutely fantastic. Among other things, you get an innovative new 56-inch Hyperscreen and, as a bonus, two years of free charging. But not everything on the new electric luxury sedan is free to use. One such feature is the car's rear-axle steering system, which is free to use as standard, but you only get to access 4.5 degrees. According to German publication Auto Motor und Sport, you will have to pay for a subscription service that costs €489 per year, or $576.75 at current exchange rates. But why not just give people access to the full system and work it into the cost?
Well, the reasoning is simply that not all customers want all the same features, and most likely will never make full use of or even notice making use of a system like rear-wheel steering. This kind of thing makes a lot of sense in that it allows customers to buy and use the cars that they want and need, rather than paying for features that they're not interested in. With the EQS and other cars promising regular digital updates and now the ability to access certain locked features via a subscription service, the car you buy can be continually refined to suit your needs.
Fortunately, Mercedes has recognized that there are those who will look to keep their cars for some time or who simply want the best of everything at all times. With that in mind, if you want to activate rear-axle steering for a longer period without resubscribing, Mercedes will allow you to buy three years worth of the service for €1,169 (approximately $1,379). To access the full capabilities of the system, the EQS must be specced with the parking package, which includes a surround-view camera.
Unfortunately, the similar but more traditional S-Class can't have this feature updated remotely because you can buy the car with mixed tires, which poses a problem for the calibration of the system. However, the S-Class can be bought with the permanent system at a cost of €1,550 ($1,827), so we expect that EQS buyers will be able to do something similar if a subscription is inconvenient.