Entry-level EQS owners can have their car's active rear-wheel steering angle increased from 4.5° to 10° after the upgrade, thereby reducing the turning diameter.

Mercedes-Benz allows Chinese EQS owners to upgrade their vehicles' rear-wheel steering system, but they need to subscribe on annual basis-CnEVPost

(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

Subscriptions have been made popular in the mobile app space because of their ability to generate recurring revenue.

In the automotive industry, with the rise of electric vehicles (EVs), the plethora of new features has also led automakers to start taking more of this form of charging for their service offerings.

Mercedes-Benz is offering an upgrade to its rear-wheel active steering system for EQS owners in China, and those who choose to upgrade will have to pay annually, according to its WeChat post on Wednesday.

The service is available for the entry-level Mercedes-Benz EQS electric sedan and will allow users to increase their active rear-wheel steering angle from 4.5° to 10° for 4,998 yuan ($747) per year.

Interested owners can try it out first, and Mercedes-Benz is offering a free 3-month trial period.

Mercedes-Benz allows Chinese EQS owners to upgrade their vehicles' rear-wheel steering system, but they need to subscribe on annual basis-CnEVPost

This is different from many other automakers that currently charge only a one-time fee for vehicle upgrades, such as NIO, which announced the Alder system at the ES7 launch earlier this month for RMB 9,600 for existing customers. If they choose the 5G central gateway additionally, the price is RMB 12,600.

The entry-level Mercedes-Benz EQS can reduce its turning diameter to 10.9 meters after the upgrade, according to Mercedes-Benz. The company did not mention the default turning diameter of the entry-level Mercedes-Benz EQS, and the specs on its website do not show it either.

This rear-wheel active steering system has an adjustable angle of up to 10 degrees, which largely reduces the turning diameter and provides a better experience when parking, information on the Mercedes website shows.

"In addition, you do not need to worry about the stress caused by the long wheelbase during driving, it allows handling flexibility comparable to that of compact models," Mercedes said.

Mercedes-Benz introduced the EQS to China last December, and it has a low wind resistance coefficient of 0.20, the best score for a production car so far.

It offered four versions of the model, which at the time retailed for RMB 1079,600 ($169,500), 119,600, 13,176 and 15,186,600.

The Mercedes-Benz website currently shows the retail price of all four versions reduced by RMB 5,000, to RMB 1074600, 1188600, 1312600 and 1513600 respectively.

The Mercedes-Benz EQS has a length, width and height of 5,216/1,926/1,512 mm and a wheelbase of 3,210 mm. For reference, the NIO's flagship sedan, the ET7, has a length, width and height of 5,101/1,987/1,505 mm and a wheelbase of 3,060 mm.

Mercedes-Benz has not announced sales of the EQS in China, and the model did not make the monthly sales ranking of best-selling models published by the China Passenger Car Association.

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