Subscription business models are tempting and everyone wants to be the next Netflix or Amazon Prime - unfortunately that includes the automakers. While some subscriptions make sense, charging a monthly fee for heated seats got BMW a lot of flack. Now Mercedes wants in on the game, seeming unaware of how the public feels about it.
On its American website, Mercedes is testing waters with subscription models and it is asking potential buyers of EQE and EQS models to shell out an additional $100 a month for increased power output.
Starting with the EQE 350, the $100 monthly subscription gets you a power bump from the standard 288hp to a punchier 349hp - that’s a 61hp boost or 21% increase. That results in the 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) sprint taking 5.1 seconds instead of the standard 6 seconds flat. The EQE SUV benefits from the same setup, but its acceleration improves to 5.2 seconds from the usual 6.2 seconds - that’s an even bigger improvement.
The EQS 450 standard power output of 355hp is enough to waft around in a spritely manner but if you wish to be quicker off the traffic lights then $100 monthly subscription will add 88hp and shave off 0.8 seconds from the 0 to 60 mph time - now it takes only 4.5 seconds. The same goes for the EQS SUV 450 - 443hp in exchange for $100 a month and the 0 to 60 drops to 4.9 seconds.
Once a customer signs up for the subscription, new Dynamic drive mode becomes available. By selecting it the improved performance is at the driver’s right foot disposal. If you have ever played a car racing game, this will sound familiar to you.
Few things - first, the upgraded power shows how much potential the electric motors from Mercedes are still hiding. Bumping the power output by 20% is no trivial task and it only means that those motors have plenty more to give. If Mercedes is using the standard automotive approach, to ensure longevity of a component such as an electric motor, its available power is never higher than 65 to 70% of what it truly is capable of. That leaves plenty of room for future EV tuners.
As for the numbers quoted by Mercedes - there is no way to prove them at all until someone actually straps either of the cars to a dyno to verify them. Is it possible that Mercedes just sharpens up throttle response? Is it possible that a standard car comes with software-delayed acceleration? Absolutely yes, it would make a lot of business sense to do it this way. We are used to paying extra to remove speed limiters - why not pay for more power?
That brings us to the point of who owns the car. If you buy the vehicle outright, you are supposed to own it and many of us buy the cars so we can tinker with them, make them more fun to drive and be less reliable in the process. Mercedes offers the tinkering as a paid option, it tries to put the car tuners out of their jobs.
Buying a used modified car is an absolute nightmare and a minefield that many people experienced in their lives. Mercedes fixes it, you can buy a used EQE, pay extra $100 every month and enjoy your modified electric car. But there is nothing stopping Mercedes from bumping up the prices as they wish and when they wish.
Subscription models are attractive for both customers and the businesses, they mean steady income for the company and manageable fees for the rest of us. That’s the theory. The practice feels a bit different - do I want to have heated seats on subscription? Do I want to commit to a yearly plan for more power?
You can cancel Netflix anytime you want and Mercedes could argue that this is the case, but buying a power upgrade would cost about $1,200 outright. Paying for it monthly can cost as much as $6,000 if you keep the car for 5 years. For the sake of convenience we are slowly giving up ownership of everything around us.
If it decreases lifespan of the vehicle, said vehicle is clearly designed wrong ... I know it is Mercedes, and we probably know what reputation it has when it comes to reliability, but still, if it's warranty thing, it would be quite alarming fo...
I assume that this applies to vehicles under warranty. If so it is not too wrong - increasing power is likely to increase warranty costs. Battery degradation will be faster. If instead they said "You can do this to allow a higher maximum power b...
well... this sucks! cars are supposed to be reliable. this might be the first step to having rediculuos subsriptions and ending up owned for companies to operate our lives! imagine, one day you can't travel using your car because you don't ...