That's $100 a month for something you should get from the factory.
The Mercedes-Benz EQS and the rest of the EQ lineup are the latest vehicles to follow the subscription model, charging owners $1,200 a year for an Acceleration Increase subscription.
In recent months, BMW has faced massive amounts of backlash for its subscription models, currently being tested in South Korea. For clarity, we reached out to BMW USA and received a statement regarding subscription services and how they might work locally.
It would appear Mercedes has decided it is willing to weather the potential storm, seeing a benefit in asking $100/month for more power from its EQ EVs.
On its website, Mercedes provides the hypothetical power and 0-60 mph time benefits for a range of EQ models. The EQE 350 gets a bump from 288 horsepower to 349 horsepower and a 0-60 mph drop from 6.0 to 5.1 seconds. The EQE SUV gets the same power bump, though 0-60 mph falls from 6.2 to 5.2 seconds.
It's a similar story for the EQS 450, which shows an increase from 355 hp to 443 hp, and a new 0-60 mph time- from 5.3 to 4.5 seconds. Again, power levels jump for the EQS SUV similarly, with 0-60 times falling from 5.8 to 4.9 seconds. All figures can be "unlocked" by selecting the Dynamic drive mode, and Mercedes says torque figures increase as well, though it does not quote by how much.
Now, this raises a handful of concerns in our eyes. First, Mercedes now makes a series of electric motors capable of the claimed boosted figures. But now it wants consumers to pay extra for that beyond just a one-time payment, meaning Mercedes now effectively "owns" those adjusted power figures, and you're only renting them.
Second, without a dyno or similar performance-logging software (or a stopwatch), Mercedes can simply say what the car makes, and for all a buyer knows, those power figures could be completely different.
Most consumers won't bother to pay for a dyno day to find out. Manufacturers sandbag power figures all the time, so what's to stop Mercedes from doing the same with its subscription power increase?
To be clear- Mercedes-Benz has not yet instituted this subscription service for its EQ vehicles. For now, the site simply says, "coming soon." Perhaps consumers will voice their concerns loudly enough for Mercedes to reconsider.
Brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Toyota all offer subscriptions for the hardware already in each brand's respective vehicles. Toyota offers remote start as a subscription, BMW heated seats, and now Mercedes with Acceleration Increase.
It is part of a systematic disassembly of auto buyers' right to own a vehicle and its associated components. We expect only to see these practices become more prevalent over time.