Sony’s concept electric SUV seats seven and is powered by two 272hp electric motors on each axle.
Sony has announced plans to enter the automobile market through the establishment of a dedicated mobility company and has unveiled two bespoke electric vehicle concepts at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The first EV was the Vision-S electric saloon, which was also unveiled in 2020, while the Vision-S 02 SUV was the second.
- Sony Mobility Inc expected to launch in the coming months
- Vision-S 02 measures just under 5m in length and 2m in width
- SUV’s screens can be connected to a Sony Playstation to play video games
Sony Mobility Inc.: additional information
The Japanese technology behemoth unveiled the Vision-S electric saloon in 2020 as a demonstration of its autonomous driving and in-car entertainment systems, but despite beginning testing with a road-legal prototype a year later, it made no indication that a production variant would follow.
Now, the company has announced that it will establish a new operating company called Sony Mobility Inc in the spring (March-May) to “explore entry into the electric vehicle market.
Sony’s business model will be built around its in-house developed artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics technologies, which the company claims will “assist in realising a world where everyone can live in harmony with robots on a daily basis, fill people with emotion, and contribute to society.
According to the Financial Times, Sony’s stock price increased by more than 4.5 percent as a result of this announcement.
What do we know about the Sony Vision-S 02 SUV so far?
As part of this expansion into the mobility sector, dubbed Vision-S, Sony unveiled a second bespoke EV concept at CES 2022, the Vision-S 02 SUV. The new seven-seater shares the same platform and connectivity technology as the saloon and is powered by two 272hp electric motors per axle.
Sony has not disclosed performance figures for the SUV other than to confirm that it will be capable of exceeding 180kph, nor has it disclosed its battery capacity. The seven-seat SUV has a length of 4,895mm, a width of 1,930mm, and a height of 1,651mm, making it roughly the same size as the Tesla Model Y crossover.
As with its saloon sibling, it has been presented in a seemingly production-ready state, with Sony emphasising the additional space provided by the rear seats that fold.
To reinforce Sony’s emphasis on autonomy, it is equipped with “high-sensitivity, high-resolution, wide-dynamic-range” sensors throughout. Sony is currently evaluating this technology on European roads and intends to commercialise Level 2+ driver assistance systems.
Sony also installed speakers in the seats to create a three-dimensional audio experience, which the company claims will make passengers feel as if they are “surrounded by a live performance by a favourite artist.
The panoramic infotainment interface and individual rear displays can also be used to watch videos or play video games when connected to a Sony Playstation gaming console via a remote connection.
Sony is far from the first technology company to enter the automotive market. Since at least 2014, Apple has been developing its own EV, Google provides infotainment software to a variety of manufacturers (including Ford and Volvo), and LG and Panasonic are among the most prolific EV battery suppliers on the market.