Would You Pay A Monthly Fee To ‘Download’ More Horsepower In Your Car?

It's the latest evidence of a growing trend in the auto industry. Would You Pay A Monthly Fee To ‘Download’ More Horsepower In Your Car? Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz

News that is entertaining to read

Subscribe for free to get more stories like this directly to your inbox

These days it seems that every company is selling some sort of subscription plan. Whether it's your favorite streaming platforms or the company that makes your razors, everybody wants that sweet, sweet monthly payment.

Now automakers are getting in on the action.

Hiding the horsepower

As if the monthly cost of financing a new vehicle weren’t already high enough, a growing number of cars come with upgrades that will result in a monthly fee for as long as you want to use them.

Options that used to just be added to the cost of the vehiclelike heated seats — are now being packaged as subscriptions that you’ll lose access to if you stop paying.

And the shift to high-tech electric vehicles is only making it easier for car companies to accelerate the trend.

Speaking of acceleration, Mercedes-Benz has announced that its new line of EV sedans would give drivers the option of downloading 60 or 80 more horsepower for $60 and $90 per month, respectively.

And that’s not all…

At least for now, customers still have the option to buy the extra power in other ways (either through an annual subscription plan or a flat fee at the time of purchase), but there are plenty of other features that you’ll have to pay for on a monthly basis.

Mercedes-Benz and other automakers are counting on these fees as a way to boost their revenue in the coming years. General Motors, for example, is counting on raking in as much as $25 billion a year from subscription costs by the end of this decade!

Some countries have started to crack down on certain aspects of this trend, though, which is why Mercedes is only offering its monthly power boost in the U.S.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee May 5th, 2023
Share this story: