Exactly two years after the tech company announced a shock move into the automotive space, Sony has doubled down on its ambition. Despite delivering no cars and only teasing a series of prototype vehicles, the brand took to CES 2022 to announce an all-new new division – Sony Mobility, alongside a new electric SUV concept, the Vision-S 02. And this time, Sony actually wants to build it.
The reveal was teased with two cinematic clips, the first envisioning the picture-perfect lifestyle Sony drivers can expect, while the other demonstrated a test of remote driving via a 5G connection linking Tokyo and Germany in real-time. “We are exploring a commercial launch of Sony’s EV,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, the company’s chairman, president, and CEO.
Set to tackle Tesla for electric SUV supremacy, the new Vision-S 02 appears to have taken the Vision-S 01 sedan concept and smoothed out the issues, unleashing a formidable aesthetic in the process. Sleek and swooping, the comparisons to the Tesla Model Y are hard to ignore, especially considering the near-identical dimensions, but nevertheless, the Vision-S SUV does offer an interesting prospect.
According to CNET, the new SUV is powered by a dual electric set-up, with each motor capable of producing around 200 kilowatts, or about 268 horsepower. Sadly, no battery size or the estimated range has been provided, but it’s not a major surprise. The Vision-S 02 looks to be a fair way away and Sony has instead turned to plugging the high-tech features of the upcoming release. And they aren’t too shabby.
Putting a major focus on safety, adaptability and entertainment, the Vision S SUV comes equipped with 40 sensors inside and outside, along with 5G connectivity throughout. Impressively, the cabin has an adaptable form function for each passenger and a host of entertainment options regardless of seat placement. The initial release images show the same stunning full-width display we saw in the Vision-S 01, along with three screens integrated into the single housing. Best of all, the rear-seat passengers get a pair of multimedia displays, however, that may get tricky with the seating arrangement.
Sony claims the Vision-S SUV can support four- or seven passengers, with the ability to swap out the rear captain’s chairs for a three-across setup. This way, you can score an additional two seats in the way-back, which doesn’t look entirely comfortable, but without actually sitting inside, it’s hard to tell.
Awkward seating arrangements aside, the new Sony Vision-S SUV does appear to be an enticing addition. The new Sony Mobility business shows that the original idea wasn’t just a fleeting ambition, instead, Sony is genuinely pushing forward with its automotive endeavour. While the world sits waiting for Apple to do something in the car space, a major competitor may have already pipped them to the post.