BMW reveals the future by charging to “unlock” functions of its cars

The company’s cars in South Korea come with the features pre-installed, but they will only be available after payment.


Cars are becoming more and more like some video games, where you need to pay money, sometimes via subscription , to unlock all of their features.

This is the thing with BMW and its ConnectedDrive store in South Korea .

The automaker’s online store offers features like heated seats, Apple Carplay or a kind of dashcam for an extra fee.

All the necessary hardware is already installed in the cars, but you have to pay to unlock it without going to a dealer.

BMW Costs in South Korea

Unlocking the heating of the front seats costs 24,000 won (US$18.35) per month, but the user has the option of “unlimited” use for about US$400.

Heating the helm costs $10 a month, $92 a year, $161 for three years, or unlimited at $305.

Another function desired by many users is Apple CarPlay and the BMW catalog  in South Korea is prepared for its use. Of course, with a previous payment of 399 thousand won (US $ 305).

BMW also offers “trivial” features like IconicSounds Sport, which plays fake engine sounds through the sound system. This for US$ 138 to be enjoyed unlimitedly.

It’s unclear if these unlimited-time subscriptions or purchases can be transferred to a new user if the car is sold, or if you’ll have to pay again to use these features.