Sony presented its second electric car prototype at this year’s CES – an enhanced electric SUV of the well-known sedan. Unlike in 2020, the chances of series production are now much better – Sony says it wants to examine this step soon.
First, the vehicle: the VISION-S 02 is an SUV offshoot of the VISION-S 01 electric sedan presented at CES 2020. Both models use the same eMobility and cloud platforms, the focus for Sony is primarily on the “entertainment experience” in the interior with 5G connectivity and infotainment offerings – the e-drive is virtually just an accessory.
In the announcement about the electric SUV, Sony therefore does not go into further detail about the technical data of the drive. So all that remains is the known information about the VISION-S 01: Benteler, Bosch, Continental, the Canadian-Austrian contract manufacturer Magna Steyr and ZF were involved in the development. The electric car study has two electric motors that deliver 400 kW of power together. The platform and electric car components of the European suppliers thus form the basis on which Sony can build its expertise in sensor and safety technology for autonomous driving and infotainment.
The electric SUV features high-resolution CMOS image sensors – read: cameras – to monitor the car’s surroundings and a Lidar system to more accurately capture three-dimensional space. “Sony aims to provide greater safety and convenience for all with its sensor and communication technologies,” the statement said. Other features include improved gesture control, a low-latency 5G system and in-seat speakers designed to create a three-dimensional sound experience. OTA updates are a given for such a vehicle.
At the front, the VISION-S 02 follows the same design language as the sedan. In the side view, the new, aerodynamically clad rims and the arched roofline stand out – this also improves aerodynamics. Like the Tesla Model X, which also has such a roofline, the Sony SUV is a seven-seater. The Japanese say they chose this body shape to “promote adaptation to a variety of lifestyles in a society with increasingly diversified values”.
Both Sony BEVs could indeed come to market, with the Japanese electronics giant now announcing plans to set up a subsidiary, Sony Mobility, in spring 2022 to explore entering the electric car market. The company does not give a time frame by when a decision will be made.
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