Mercedes unveils $1 200 annual subscription to make its cars go faster

Kizzy D. Blount

Janis Joplin famously appealed to a higher being to buy her a Mercedes-Benz. If she were alive today, she’d also need to pay up on an annual subscription for extra speed.

Mercedes-Benz AG is trying to sell buyers of its EQ electric sedans a $1 200 annual add-on that unlocks a feature the luxury vehicles are already capable of. The package will shave off just under one second on getting from zero to 60 miles per hour. It’ll deactivate if the customer doesn’t pay the fee again in another 12 months.

“Fine tuning of the electric motors increases the maximum motor output of your Mercedes-EQ by 20 to 24%,” said the landing page for the so-called Acceleration Increase subscription on the company’s online store. “The torque is also increased, enabling your vehicle to accelerate noticeably faster and more powerfully.”

Charging customers for a feature the car is already capable of is a bold move for the premium automaker. A similar move at German rival BMW AG earlier this year backfired after seeking to sell owners $18 per month subscriptions to heat their seats.

Carmakers are betting on so-called function on demand services to broaden and grow revenues, including future offerings like automated driving services as vehicles’ software capabilities improve.

Mercedes is offering the function on some of its flagship EQS sedan and EQS SUV models as well as some of its EQE sedan and EQE SUV models.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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