Mercedes wants to charge a $1,200 subscription to unlock faster EV performance

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After BMW raised eyebrows for charging a subscription for heated seats already installed in its cars, Mercedes now has a $1,200 annual plan for drivers who want extra performance from their electric car.

Available for the German manufacturer’s EQE and EQS electric sedans and SUVs, the upgrade is called Acceleration Enhance – and for an annual fee of $100 per month – it does just that.

Mercedes says pumping the cash will “unleash improved performance for your car”. It also explains how the function adjusts the power and torque curves of the electric motor and increases the maximum output power.

More specifically, the power is increased from 215 kW to 260 kW for the EQE 350 and EQE SUV, and from 265 kW to 330 kW for the Mercedes EQS 450 and EQS SUV.

Acceleration times from zero to 100 km/h are reduced by between 0.8 and 1.0 seconds. This reduces the EQE from 6.0 to 5.1 seconds and the EQE SUV from 6.2 to 5.2 seconds. The acceleration time of the EQS improves from 5.3 to 4.5 seconds and the EQS SUV drops from 5.8 to 4.9 seconds.

It’s important to note here that despite the hefty cost and obvious performance gains, no hardware changes are made for the $1,200 annual fee. This is purely a software update that unlocks achievements that the cars are already capable of, at least physically. There’s no word from Mercedes on what the Acceleration Boost feature does to estimated range, but a faster and more powerful EV is usually one with a shorter range.

Mercedes says: “Fine tuning of the electric motors increases the maximum engine power (kW) of your Mercedes-EQ by 20 to 24%, depending on the original power output from the factory. Torque is also increased, making your vehicle accelerate noticeably faster and more powerfully. This reduces the time it takes to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h by approximately 0.8 to 0.9 seconds.”

The extra performance is available in all driving modes, says Mercedes. Although listed on the company’s US website, Acceleration Enhance is marked “coming soon”.

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