The new 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS is packed full of technology and new features. One of those features is on the EQS is Mercedes-Benz rear-wheel steering option. Rear-wheel steering allows drivers better control in certain situations, but is it worth paying a subscription fee for?
Does Mercedes-Benz have rear-wheel steering?
Mercedes-Benz is set to offer rear-wheel steering on the new highly-anticipated EQS model. According to Autoblog, buyers of the EQS would be able to rent rear-wheel-steering as an added convenience feature. Mercedes-Benz has two levels of rear-wheel-steer capability built into the new EQS. The first level turns the back wheels up to 4.5 degrees, while the second increases the angle to 10 degrees.
Rear-wheel steering is helpful for the car’s handling and maneuverability. It also enables cars to park in tighter spaces and make u-turns at lower speeds. At higher speeds, rear wheels can help with stability. While this feature is helpful, is this something buyers would rent from Mercedes-Benz?
Mercedes-Benz rear-wheel steering isn’t alone
Mercedes-Benz is planning on charging an annual fee of around $571 for rear-wheel-steering. Buyers can also purchase a three-year subscription for $1,376. Mercedes says the price of the EQS will be approximately $100,000. The subscription fee is relatively inconsequential in comparison. However, is this the way things are going to go from here on out? Mercedes-Benz rear-wheel steering offering won’t be the last.
What is the point of offering a subscription for a feature that automakers could realistically include without much fanfare? Autoblog notes that Mercedes-Benz offers paint colors on some of the new S-Class vehicles that cost more than the rear-wheel steering subscription. What happens if you are the second owner? Or if you lease the EQS? Will your subscription remain active?
Tesla has angered buyers lately when noting that the Full Self-Driving subscription would not transfer over, even though it has been long overdue. Fisker Karma is offering recurring fee features that are locked with the sale of the vehicle. If you are the second buyer, these features would need to be repurchased.
Is the future subscription based?
Volkswagen recently noted that the brand hoped to allow buyers to be able to rent autonomous driving at an hourly fee in the future. It also wants to offer over-the-air updates for a cost instead of going to a dealership.
“Volkswagen is on the road to the future – with smart software. This makes it possible to bring highly innovative functions on board the latest vehicles and opens up completely new possibilities. Software is becoming a new factor in competitive differentiation and value creation.”Volkswagen
Volkswagen also noted that subscription-based software services were a new way to generate vast amounts of money as a brand. VW brand’s sales chief Klaus Zellmer said he feels the opportunity for “triple-digit-millions” in sales through these options. While Mercedes-Benz rear-wheel steering might be an innovative feature that buyers would want, the subscription-based nature is a bad sign of things to come. Renting features that are already included in the production process seems like a money grab no matter how you slice it.