Mercedes Benz plans to charge owners of its upcoming line of pricey electric cars a subscription fee of $1,200 a year to boost their ability to accelerate quickly, according to a report.
The subscription package, designed for Mercedes’ upcoming EQ all-electric models, resembles Tesla’s “Ludacris mode” introduced in 2016, which gives drivers an acceleration boost for a one-time fee of $10,000.
The move comes just months after BMW sparked outrage over trying to charge a monthly fee for heated seats, marking what could be the onset of an auto industry trend towards paid subscriptions for features that drivers have long considered standard.
Car magazine The Drive first spotted an “Acceleration Increase” subscription package marked as coming soon on Mercedes’ website. The package offers a 0-60 acceleration increase of up to one second, as well as improved torque and engine output for all EQ models.
The package will only cost car owners the equivalent of $100 a month.
Similar performance improvements would typically cost well over $1,200 if paid for entirely upfront, according to gearpatrol.com, but the move towards subscriptions for car features means owners won’t be able to resell a vehicle for its features, as they would if the features were built in.
If car feature subscriptions catch on, they could unlock billions of dollars a year in revenue from the motor industry, The Post reported in August.
“This is where we are headed. You’re gonna need a subscription to do anything in your car. Want to connect your phone? $20 a month. Wanna go in reverse? That’s an extra $300, please,” one Twitter user complained.
Another wrote, “@MercedesBenz this needs to stop. Subscriptions for performance from your car is just ripping people off. Everyone needs to let Mercedes (by extension, the industry) know this is not acceptable.”
BMW faced so much backlash in July for trying to charge $18 a month for heated seats that the company released a public statement defending the decision.
The statement read in part: “This gives customers the possibility of adding new software-based functionality and a degree of flexibility in that they will be able to test, and then decide whether or not to purchase a vehicle feature that was not initially available at the time of the original vehicle purchase.
Mercedes has not responded to The Post’s request for comment.