Mercedes-Benz is offering North American buyers the chance to unlock more power from their cars with a subscription payment, but it won’t offer the same option everywhere.
In Australia, the brand didn’t confirm any plans to start offering subscription-based power boosts – and in Europe, regulators might kill the idea before it even begins.
Speaking with Top Gear Netherlands, a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson said “legal matters” mean it won’t be doing the same in Europe for the time being.
Top Gear says one-time payments (rather than ongoing subscriptions) such as those offered by Polestar are allowed, however, suggesting there is an avenue for Mercedes-Benz to allow some form of remote power upgrade on its electric vehicles.
Some brands are also offering subscriptions for features such as heated seats in Europe, suggesting the “legal matters” relate to the power upgrade itself rather than the concept of ongoing payments.
Europe’s pushback against the move to subscriptions isn’t novel; New Jersey legislators are also looking to ban the practice – albeit only in their state.
In the USA, owners of the electric EQE sedan and SUV and EQS liftback and SUV can now pay $US1200 per year (~$A2000) to shave up to a second from their 100km/h sprint times with software.
Power in the EQE 350 4MATIC jumps from 215kW to 260kW, while the EQS 450 4MATIC gains 55kW to pack 330kW.
The so-called Acceleration Increase subscription is listed with the following explanation on the North American store:
“Fine tuning of the electric motors increases the maximum motor output of your Mercedes-EQ by 20 to 24 per cent.”
“The torque is also increased, enabling your vehicle to accelerate noticeably faster and more powerfully.”
MORE: Everything Mercedes-Benz EQE
MORE: Everything Mercedes-Benz EQS