The next brick in the wall of a relentlessly upgradable society has been laid: Cadillac announced a Velocity Package for the 2024 Lyriq AWD. Costing $1,200 plus tax, owners can download software that unlocks an additional 74 pound-feet of torque from the Lyriq’s two motors. Instead of 500 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, the new twist number is 524 lb-ft., which Cadillac says is enough to shave 0.3 second off the Lyriq AWD’s 4.7-second 0-60 time. Owners can find the option to upgrade in the Lyriq’s infotainment system among the Drive Modes pages. Press the proper buttons, and voila, velocity!
Cadillac’s done the kind thing and made the $1,200 a one-time fee. Even more kindly, the luxury brand is giving owners a seven-day consideration window — anyone not happy with the result inside of a week can “return” the software and get their money back. Polestar offers a similar “performance software upgrade” for its Polestar 2 and Polestar 3 that requires a one-time fee of $1,195 for U.S. owners. Unlike Cadillac, the Swedes only give owners three days to change their minds.
Meanwhile, the Germans are slowly staking out the onerous end of the subscription landscape. Mercedes-Benz offers a subscription for the Acceleration Increase available to the EQE and EQS, however, owners are free to avoid recurring charges by paying a one-time fee that’s small enough to not bother an EQE or EQS buyer. And based on what BMW’s tried to do with software like Apple CarPlay and fixed mechanical luxuries like heated seats, BMW has no intention of taking an owner’s money just once. Let’s be fair to BMW, though, and say no other automaker plans to settle for one-time payments, either. Fortune Business Insights predicts the global vehicle subscription market will grow from $3.38 billion in 2022 to $172.5 billion by 2029. Our autonomous autopay world is on the way.
It’s not clear if there will be a similar offer for the single-motor Lyriq that makes makes 340 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque or the few units of the 2023 Lyriq AWD that might have reached owners. And many already wonder if anything will be done about Lyriq badging, part of the brightwork on the tailgate denoting the crossover’s torque figure in Newton-meters. The U.S. Lyriq AWD wears a 600E4 badge; after the Velocity Package upgrade, the appropriate badge would be a 700E4. As has also been noted, fastidious owners can track down the appropriate marker from China, seeing the Chinese-market Lyriq AWD is sold with 524 lb-ft. of torque from the factory.