The future of tuning shops already looks bleak with the rise of EVs. OTA (over-the-air) updates give manufacturers the power to remotely lock or unlock features on your vehicle, including its performance, and of course they’re going to make you pay for it. Mercedes is already getting this ball rolling with a subscription-based performance package that will increase the power output of its EQ line of EVs. All for the low, low price of $1,200.00 (not including tax).
Called “Acceleration Increase,” the update increases both torque and maximum power output for your EQ EV. Mercedes says that power output will increase by 20-24 percent, while increasing the overall performance of the EV. Depending on the model, zero to 60 mph times drop 0.8 to 0.9 seconds which, if this were a normal ICE-engined vehicle being tuned, would be pretty impressive.
This performance increase isn’t limited to specific models either, it’s available across the EQ range:
Mercedes-EQ EQE 350 4MATIC: increase from 215 kW to 260 kW, with 0-60 time changing from 6.0 seconds to approx. 5.1 seconds.
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Mercedes-EQ EQE SUV 350 4MATIC: increase from 215 kW to 260 kW, with 0-60 time changing from 6.2 seconds to approx. 5.2 seconds.
Mercedes-EQ EQS 450 4MATIC: increase from 265 kW to 330 kW, with 0-60 time changing from . 5.3 seconds to approx. 4.5 seconds
Mercedes-EQ EQS SUV 450 4MATIC: increase from 265 kW to 330 kW, with 0-60 time changing from 5.8 seconds to approx. 4.9 seconds
While the power increase is welcome, the downside is that this is a subscription. To unlock this performance requires that owners drop $1,200 a year to keep this performance upgrade.
Perhaps Mercedes missed the writing on the wall, considering the backlash BMW received over its heated seats subscription, their subsequent assurance that the U.S. wouldn’t see something like that, or the data that shows some 75 percent of car buyers don’t want subscriptions. I’ve reached out to Mercedes for comment and will update if and when they respond.