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Now you can pay a monthly fee to un-nerf your electric Mercedes

Now you can pay a monthly fee to un-nerf your electric Mercedes


Mercedes-Benz reveals new subscription pricing for its ‘Acceleration Increase’ software paywall that allows the electric EQE and EQS to go quicker — starting at $60 per month.

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A Mercedes-EQ EQE and Mercedes-EQ EQS on a beach. Wet sand is reflecting the cars and horizon.
EQE and EQS electric sedans.
Image: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz has new finalized pricing on its vexing “Acceleration Increase” subscription revealed last year that can eke out more electric performance — without any physical modification — from the automaker’s current EQE and EQS EV models, Car and Driver reports.

The updated Acceleration Increase pricing starts at $60 per month, or you can save about $120 and pay $600 per year instead. That pricing only applies to the AWD EQE 350 sedan and its SUV counterpart. Meanwhile, the pricier AWD EQS 450 car and SUV command a higher $90 per month (or $900 per year) rate for their own boost.

Mercedes-Benz had initially set the subscription at $1,200 per year, but now it’s been reduced a bit to a slightly-less-unreasonable rate. The automaker is also letting you pay a one-time fee of $1,950 on the EQE and $2,950 on the EQS to unlock the Acceleration Increase permanently.

The unlock increases acceleration and power output to the motors by 20 to 24 percent, according to Mercedes-Benz. The EQE’s 215kW total output increases to 260kW, and its 0–60 mph time decreases to 5.1 seconds (from 6) for the sedan and 5.2 seconds (from 6.2) on the SUV. Meanwhile, the EQS goes from 265kW to 330kW and decreases its 0–60 mph to 4.5 seconds (from 5.3) and 4.9 seconds (from 5.8) on the SUV.

For those who do choose the monthly subscription, they’d be paying the same as a full unlock in just under three years of owning either vehicle. It seems that Mercedes-Benz’s monthly subscription pricing model is designed for customers who are leasing the vehicle for a short period or only want to show off the performance temporarily while taking visiting friends or family on joy rides.

The era of automakers adding monthly subscriptions and microtransactions to vehicles is becoming a troubling trend. Tesla was early to selling such options when it offered a $3,250 unlock to use the full battery capacity of some older Model S vehicles. More recently, there have been cars with heated seats that are subject to software locks and subscriptions from Tesla and BMW, respectively.

The EQS and EQE aren’t the only artificially nerfed electric cars to offer paid unlocks. Polestar offers a $1,195 one-time fee for a boost, and Tesla also has a performance unlock for its EVs. But if you really want a quick EV and you’re willing to pay over $100,000 for an EQS already, you have quicker options in the Tesla Model S Plaid or the AMG version of the EQS.