Illustration for article titled What if All Car Features Were Subscription/Over-Air-Upgrade Based?

Luxury cars only being offered fully loaded. Im talking about all the hardware and electronics set and ready including the largest engine in the lineup, advance safety systems, and autonomous tech. However, the features/cylinders/gears/cameras/etc. are electronically locked out unless you pay for them. So you have no blank buttons, but your heated steering wheel doesn’t work unless you pay for it. You don’t get to use the full 4.0L V8 unless you buy it, otherwise the car forces the vehicle to drive on one bank of cylinders or cuts redline/output. The rear windows arent auto down and up unless you purchase the function. Maybe even the leather being underneath the cloth seats but if the dealer doesn’t uncover it your entire warranty is voided. Here’s the kicker, once you sell the car, it all resets!


Basically, if all car features were like Sirius XM. You get 90 days free with every feature available then the automaker charges you some monthly/bi-annual/annual/lifetime fee to reactivate certain feature groups.

I got the idea from how Tesla has been messing around the Model S trims. Cars having upgrades available for purchase even though you buy the car outfitted with all the equipment, just turned off. Many automakers can place electronic limits on the engine output and system mappings and then simply reflash the thing and make it the next model up. I’m thinking of the Q50 with the 300hp/400hp 3.0T V6 (it’s not exactly like that of course).

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