There’s always that moment during a chase scene in a movie where a driver hits a red turbo button to drive away. This scene might be a little lame if they entered their credit card information on a website instead of pressing a button to get more speed.
Mercedes is joining the emerging trend, which is likely to be made worse by charging a subscription fee for features the car already has. A $1,200 annual subscription gives customers access to an “Acceleration Boost” that unlocks the full performance potential on the new Mercedes EQ electric models, resulting in maximum horsepower, torque and overall performance.
This includes acceleration from 0-60 mph which improves by 0.8 to 1.0 seconds, as well as increased output from engines by 20-24 percent. One wonders if the car suddenly becomes slower again if you haven’t gone through your credit card in a year.
To be clear, this isn’t an actual hardware upgrade. You do not need to take the car to a Mercedes dealer mechanic and it does not change virtually before your eyes like the Optimus Prime. It’s a lot like premium status on a streaming service, or first class on a plane, except it’s your own car.
Obviously, this means that Mercedes intentionally released the car with this limited performance so that they could sell customers with the add-on later. BMW entered slight pr hullabaloo A few months ago after charging an $18 monthly subscription in some countries for additional features, including heated seats already installed. It’s fun to imagine someone buying a BMW, but not spending more than $18 to keep their bum warm.
Drivers are used to pay subscription fees for upgrades in areas such as navigation and safety. But using one to unlock the underlying hardware capabilities the car is trying to hide from you is new territory that can be annoying.
It’s only a matter of time before people figure out how to steal extra speed and warmer grades the way they used to steal cable.