When Sony unveiled the Vision-S electric concept sedan at CES 2020, everyone hoped that it wouldn’t remain just a show car; after all, it looked production-ready and was too well thought out to remain just a one-off.
Now, Sony finally admits that it is exploring an entry into the EV market, which is no big surprise given that it has been testing the Vision-S 01 prototype on public roads ever since its reveal. To remove any doubt about its intentions, the Japanese company has just unveiled a second electric vehicle concept, the Sony Vision-S 02 SUV.
Previewed at CES 2022, the Vision-S 02 uses the same EV/cloud platform as the sedan prototype to offer a more practical vehicle with a roomier interior with seven seats. Sony says the Vision-S 01 and Vision-S 02 prototypes “will promote the accommodation of a large variety of lifestyles within a society where values are becoming increasingly diversified.”
A high-riding, seven-seat version of the Vision-S 01 sedan
Looking at the Vision-S 02, the resemblance to the Vision-S 01 is obvious as the SUV adopts the same design language and cues. While the sedan's dimensions place it halfway between the Tesla Model 3 and Model 3, the SUV occupies the space between the Tesla Model Y and the Model X.
The Vision-S 02 is 192.7 inches (4,895 mm) long, 76 inches (1,930 mm) wide, and 65 inches (1,650 mm) high, with a generous wheelbase stretching at 119.3 inches (3,030 mm). It rides on 20-inch wheels and weighs 5,467 pounds (2,480 kilograms).
Inside, the dashboard design is very similar to the Vision-S 01 as well, consisting of three giant displays. The one on the left acts as an instrument cluster, the one in the middle is the main interface for the infotainment system, and the one on the right is for the front passenger (second-row passengers have two additional screens at their disposal too).
Gallery: Sony Vision-S 02 SUV Concept
As with the Vision-S 01, the Vision-S 02 benefits from gadgets like seat speakers working with a streaming service compatible with “360 Reality Audio” and a fully integrated digital video service called "Bravia Core for Vision-S,” which enables shared or individual video playback on the front panoramic screen and individual rear-seat displays.
In-vehicle entertainment also includes the ability to play PlayStation games through a remote connection to a console at home, in addition to the ability to play streaming games through the cloud.
536-hp all-electric AWD powertrain sourced from Vision-S 01 sedan
Power comes from a dual-motor AWD powertrain making a total of 400 kW (536 hp), enabling the electric SUV to reach a top speed in excess of 112 mph (180 km/h)—37 mph (60 km/h) lower than the sedan. The 0-62 mph sprint has not been revealed, but it likely takes more than 4.8 seconds needed by the Vision-S 01 which is 287 lbs (130 kg) lighter.
Sony’s Vision-S prototypes also place great emphasis on safety, thanks to an array of sensors offering 360-degree vision around the vehicle. These sensors include high-sensitivity, high-resolution, wide dynamic range CMOS image sensors and LiDAR sensors that accurately sense three-dimensional space. Sony says it is currently conducting functional verification tests in Europe toward the release of Level 2+ advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) on public roads.
This is truly exciting news for EV enthusiasts, as a giant technology company like Sony will no doubt help the segment grow further. In order to explore its entry into the EV market, Sony says it will establish an operating company called “Sony Mobility Inc.” in the spring of 2022.
“The new company will aim to make the best use of AI and robotics technologies, help realize a world where everyone can live in harmony with robots on a daily basis, fill people with emotion, and contribute to society. With VISION-S, which contributes to the evolution of mobility, together with the autonomous entertainment robot aibo, and the drone Airpeak, Sony will seek to continue to create new value in a variety of fields.”