There's also a 60 hp upgrade for the EQE Sedan and SUV.
Mercedes-Benz has announced a new Performance Acceleration On-Demand over-the-air update (OTA) for the EQE 350 4Matic and EQS 450 4Matic Sedans and SUVs. Normally, this is cause for celebration, but we predict outrage in the comments section.
Performance Acceleration On-Demand is not free, and Mercedes-Benz will charge customers to add 60 horsepower to the EQE 350 4Matic Sedan and SUV models, and 80 hp to the EQS 450 4Matic. The result is a new combined power output of 348 hp for the 350 badged models and 435 hp for the 450s.
As for cost, there are three options to choose from.
The EQE 350 upgrade costs $60 per month, $600 per year, or $1,950 for the vehicle's lifetime. The EQS 450 upgrade is $90 per month, $900 per year, or $2,950 for the vehicle's lifetime.
To access the power upgrade, customers can connect to the Mercedes me connect Store, which currently offers seven digital extras ranging from a dashcam to the AMG Track Pace feature. All available upgrades use existing hardware fitted to the vehicle but upgrade the software to unlock new features.
The acceleration upgrade also changes the claimed 0-60 mph times by around 1 second.
The EQE 350 4MATIC Sedan's sprint time drops from 6.0 seconds to 5.1 seconds. The EQS 450 4MATIC Sedan drops from 5.3 to 4.5 seconds, while the EQS 450 4MATIC SUV's upgrade results in a new 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds.
The EQE 350 4MATIC SUV benefits the most, dropping from 6.2 to 5.2 seconds for the 0-60 mph sprint.
Will you be able to notice the difference? We don't think so. Electric vehicles already tend to feel faster than they are due to the instant torque delivery, and you'll need a finely-tuned butt dyno to feel the variation.
None of the above matters because the main talking point is the infamous subscription model. In the interest of fairness, we'll look at it from both sides.
We already know electric vehicles need less maintenance, so manufacturers must find new ways to compensate for the shortfall. The subscription model works because Mercedes-Benz made over a billion dollars last year, and we're only at the beginning of this new trend. Using OTT updates is also an excellent way of keeping a model fresh and exciting long after the initial purchase.
On the flip side, we now know that Mercedes-Benz is building cars that aren't as good as they can be. The engineers must have known they could get additional power out of the electric motors but dialed it back so the German brand would have something to sell customers via its online store.
It's also a bit cheeky to charge people extra money after the fact for what should be the pinnacle of motoring. We're talking about the EQS here specifically. The "S" badge means you get the absolute best, which you should at $100k plus. If you're paying that much for a car, the least Mercedes can do is chuck in some extra power for free.
Also, you will look like a cheapskate at drag races. "Sorry, I can't race today. I can't afford the $80 subscription fee for full power this month."
The other problem is that we've grown accustomed to free OTA updates, for which we must give Tesla kudos. In August 2017, thousands of Tesla Model S and Model X owners woke up to discover an upgrade that made their cars quicker. Tesla keeps giving its customers updates free of charge, making a customer's car better on that day than on the day they purchased it. It's worth noting that BMW also provides significant updates to its customers for free.
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