Sony is getting serious about entering the car business: The Japanese electronics giant unveiled its second electric car prototype at the CES technology trade show currently taking place in Las Vegas (US state of Nevada) (January 5-7, 2022). In addition, company CEO Kenichiro Yoshida announced that the group will establish a new mobility subsidiary called “Sony Mobility” in spring 2022. The goal: It is to examine a commercial market launch of the vehicles.
Sony had already caused a big surprise in Las Vegas with the first prototype two years ago. At that time, however, Yoshida expressly left open whether the vehicle would ever go into series production. The concept car at that time now bears the name “Vision-S01”. The new Vision-S02 model is a similar-looking but somewhat taller compact SUV. Tesla is also taking a comparable approach with its current tandem of Model 3 and Model Y.
It is not surprising that the company decided to take this step. After all, Sony’s further development of the “Vision” pre-series model in the past two years already indicated that it would not remain a pure showcase project. For example, Sony worked with Vodafone on the integration into the super-fast 5G mobile network. Most recently, the partners had a Sony prototype in Aldenhoven, North Rhine-Westphalia, controlled from Tokyo.
What Sony’s new vehicle will offer, however, is uncertain. Since the e-car is based on the same platform as the first concept car, we can expect similar equipment. This includes assistance systems that take over automatic parking, lane keeping, and automatic braking and acceleration. Apart from that, the Vision-S02 is likely to offer 270 horsepower (200 kilowatts, kW) in the form of two electric motors, just like its predecessor.
Since the new prototype is bigger and therefore weighs a bit more, accelerating to 100 km/h will probably take a bit longer than the 4.8 seconds of the Vision-S01. Sony did not provide any exact information about this at the presentation of the new car, so this is pure speculation at this point. It is also uncertain when and at what price Sony will launch its first car.