Mercedes has announced an optional OTA update to improve their vehicle’s off-the-line performance drastically.
Mercedes has been at the forefront of a controversial idea in the automotive industry, subscription-based upgrades. These systems typically unlock the features of a vehicle through a monthly subscription, with the most recent being the example of Mercedes charging a monthly fee for rear-wheel-steering in China late last year. Now, Mercedes has introduced a slightly different model for the North American market as well.
Mercedes’ new “Acceleration Increase” program, available on sedan and SUV versions of the EQE and EQS, allows customers to purchase a massive ~1-second 0-60mph time reduction, equating to roughly 80 horsepower for the EQS and 60 horsepower for the EQE. This takes the 0-60mph time of the EQS sedan from 5.3 to 4.5 seconds, the EQS SUV from 5.8 to 4.9 seconds, the EQE sedan from 6.0 to 5.1 seconds, and the EQE SUV from 6.2 to 5.2 seconds.
It should be noted that this upgrade is only available on the “350” trim of each of the vehicles, not on the AMG spec higher performance variants.
Pricing, much like the spec boost, depends on your vehicle model. EQE owners can pay either $1,950 as a one-time payment to unlock the feature forever or $60 per month / $600 per year. As for EQS owners, they can pay $2,950 to unlock the system for life or $90 per month / $900 per year.
Further complicating the ethics of the OTA upgrade program is the difference in what customers are buying. In previous Mercedes subscription schemes, such as the aforementioned rear-wheel-steering program, customers bought a system that would exist on their vehicle whether they purchased it or not. Whereas in this situation, Mercedes has increased the amount of power the vehicle makes, which the company states it wasn’t capable of.
This is far from the only subscription now available from Mercedes in North America, including features like remote start, phone-controlled air conditioning, and more. And with the commercial success of these programs, they are likely to get more popular in the coming years. However, at this point, it remains unclear how many Mercedes buyers are participating in these programs, which could eventually become more popular with other automakers as well.
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