Sony has brought its second electric vehicle prototype to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This time, it's an SUV, and it comes with the promise that Sony will start a new division this spring that will explore bringing the company into the EV market to fight against a growing number of firms looking to capitalize on the transition to electric motoring.
The Sony Vision-S 02 uses the same platform as the 01 sedan that was displayed in 2020, but the new shape means seating for seven as well as increased space for cargo and passengers. It's also loaded with sensors including image and LiDar sensors that are meant to work with its semi-autonomous driver assistance tech. Sony says it's already testing that tech on the road in Europe as part of bringing it to production.
A full-width driver display is joined by screens for rear-seat passengers, with Sony saying that a remote connection to a console at home would allow PlayStation gaming in-car via the cloud. Bravia Core, Sony's streaming video service, is also integrated and allows video playback (shared or individual) on the 02's screens.
Sensors in the cabin monitor the driver and passengers. The idea is to add intuitive gesture control support as well as quick driver authentification and synchronized settings linked back to the cloud.
The powertrain is the same as the Vision-S 01, with two motors making a combined 536 hp, but battery size and any range estimates are still to be announced.
While Sony wasn't getting into the details, the fact that it is starting a new company to pursue bringing the model to market shows that it is serious. It's not clear if Sony would build the vehicle itself, but when the 01 was revealed, Sony said it was working with contract car builder Magna-Steyr, hinting that the supplier could be tapped for the job.