Mercedes-Benz Announces Subscription-Based ‘Acceleration On-Demand’ Upgrade for EQE, EQS Models

Or you can pay a one-time fee, if you want the feature unlocked as long as you own the car

  • Subscriptions are increasingly common as part of the car ownership experience – including paying a fee to unlock extra performance for your EV.
  • Mercedes-Benz is offering such a service for its EQE and EQS models called the ‘Acceleration On-Demand Upgrade’.
    • You can pay $60/month or $600/year to unlock up to 80 extra horsepower and a 1-second quicker 0-60 time, or a one-time fee between $1,950 and $2,950 is another option.
    • The optional feature is purchasable through the Mercedes me connect Store and will arrive through an over-the-air update.

Streaming apps, live service video games…and EV performance unlocks: Welcome to the modern world!

If you’re shopping a new electric car right now, you can pick up the Mercedes-Benz EQE or the EQS in either sedan or SUV form. They’re not cheap, of course, as we’re talking about a brand-new Mercedes and an EV, so you’ll have to shell out anywhere between $75,000 and $104,000 (at least) to own one of these cars. Now, though, you can pay a little bit extra for something you might expect to come baked into your modern EV: Extra performance.

Mercedes-Benz isn’t the first to enact this model, of course. A few years ago, Tesla offered an acceleration upgrade for its extremely popular Model 3 Long Range sedan. Now, with “the flexibility of monthly and yearly options”, buyers can decide how important an extra 60-80 horsepower and slightly lower 0-60 times are to them.

The ‘Acceleration On-Demand Upgrade’, as Mercedes-Benz calls it, is available through its online customer portal for the 350 4Matic and 450 4Matic versions (in other words, the non-AMG versions) of the EQE and EQS sedan and SUV. For the lesser models, the upgrade boosts the electric motors’ output from 288 horsepower to 348. That extra 60 horsepower shaves 0.9 seconds off the 0-60 time if you have the sedan, and a full second if you own the SUV. If you have the 450 model, you’ll see an uplift from 355 horsepower to 435 — 80 horsepower more than it had originally. The 450 upgrade cuts the 0-60 times down by 0.8 to 0.9 seconds, depending on which body style you drive.

How much you’ll pay for the privilege depends on whether you want a one-time fee or a subscription. The shorter the subscription, the more expensive the upgrade is in the short term. Monthly fees run between $60/month for the 350 models and $90/month for the 450 models. Going for an annual subscription gives you a slight discount: $600/year for the 350s and $900/year for the 450s. Finally, you can forego subscribing entirely if you spend $1,950 up front for the 350 models. Predictably, with better performance in the first place and a bigger increase, the 450 models’ upgrade is more expensive, at $2,950.

While some folks may jump at the opportunity for more power, it’s not immediately clear how the extra grunt will impact range.

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS - Mercedes-Benz 'Acceleration On-Demand' upgrade - featured

Like it or not, these subscription models are gaining steam

Mercedes notes this isn’t the only upgrade ‘On-Demand’ upgrade you can get either. Just pay the appropriate fee, and you’ll have features beamed to your car like remote start, Beginner Driver and Valet modes, navigation features and more.

You’ll have to decide whether the value proposition is there for any of these features. Naturally, many of you reach out noting some of these features — particularly on six-figure cars — should be baked in from the factory. While automakers lean hard on “individual needs and preferences” in pitching these on-demand features to consumers (sometimes noting the cars are less expensive to buy in the first place with these a la carte upgrades), they also note growth on the software side of car development as a revenue stream in their presentations to investors.

Since EVs are known for lower service costs, at least in the short-term, these subscriptions are one way to fill that void. Mind you, at least you have some agency being able to handle these upgrades through an app, rather than having to visit your local Mercedes-Benz dealer.