Mercedes-Benz have gone the software route and may now start charging fees for certain features.
You can’t teach a dog to meow, just like you can’t teach an international corporation to stop being greedy.
In an unfortunately unsurprising move, Mercedes-Benz has decided that buying their EQS electric car for a pittance that will likely be around £80,000 simply doesn’t cut it anymore and if you want rudimentary built-in features such as rear-wheel steering, you’ll need to pay them a subscription fee. Next, they are due to announce a separate subscription service for customers that want to be able to wind their windows down or use the air conditioning.
It won’t be cheap either. Reports suggest that the cost of being able to use the already-built-in feature of rear-wheel steering will cost €489 per year or €1169 for a 3-year subscription.
Being the flagship saloon model for Mercedes’ electric portfolio, many enthusiasts have found it particularly insulting that the company have decided to charge such an expensive fee for a feature that is part of the car and should be included regardless. Some may argue that cars have had options for years, where buyers can spec their cars with extra bells and whistles. However, in cases such as the EQS, the rear-wheel steering is a feature that all EQS models will be capable of as long as they have the hardware.
What Mercedes-Benz is essentially doing is locking the feature with software and making owners pay extra to unlock it. Those that don’t wish to pay an extra €489 per year (or roughly £420 per year) will not have access to the 10-degree rear-wheel steering that each EQS will technically be capable of. Without paying the subscription fee, the car will still be capable of 4.5 degrees of rear-wheel steering, just not the full 10 degrees that the car is capable of.
If you’re unfamiliar with rear-wheel steering, it’s a feature that large vehicles such as lorries have used for years for enhanced manoeuvrability around tight corners. This has also been adopted by some high-end luxury and performance cars such as the EQS saloon, Porsche 911 GT3, Ferrari F12TDF and Audi A8 for the purpose of greater handling and manoeuvrability as well.
Reports suggest that this subscription plan will vary from country to country, so it will certainly be interesting to see how it is handled in the UK.
Let us know your thoughts on the EQS’s cheeky pricing model, in the comments.
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