Is Sony going to make electric cars? Electronics giant unveils Vision-S 02 concept and launches new division to explore entering the vehicle market
- Vision-S O2 is the second EV Sony has revealed following 2020 Vision-S saloon
- Bosses took the wraps off the SUV ahead of the US Consumer Electronics Show
- Sony Mobility is an all-new division that from spring 2022 will explore EV making
- Electronics giant’s existing sensor and entertainment tech could give it an advantage over rivals when it comes to creating vehicles of the future
Sony has echoed its ambitions to enter the automotive sector with the unveiling of a second concept car and the launch of a new subsidiary to explore the production of electric vehicles.
During a press conference ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the electronic giant took the wraps off its new Vision-S 02 SUV – a new version of the firm’s first prototype battery-powered car that it has already been road testing.
The Japanese firm, better known for its televisions and video game consoles, also confirmed it will create the Sony Mobility division in spring 2022 that will look into the prospect of the company entering the automotive sector.
Sony chief executive officer Kenichiro Yoshida unveils the Sony Vision-S 02 SUV prototype electric vehicle during the Sony press conference ahead of the CES in Las Vegas, Nevada
The tech group’s mobility branch ‘intends to explore entry into the EV market,’ it said in a statement on Tuesday.
Speaking ahead of the annual US gadgets event, Sony chairman and president Kenichiro Yoshida told a news conference: ‘With our imaging and sensing, cloud, 5G and entertainment technologies combined with our contents mastery, we believe Sony is well positioned as a creative entertainment company to redefine mobility.’
The Vision-S 02 is the follow-up to the original concept unveiled by Sony at CES in 2020.
While the Vision-S was a saloon model to rival the Tesla Model S, the 02 looks to challenge the ever increasing market of battery-powered SUVs.
The seven-seat utility vehicle measures in at around 4.85 metres long, which is fractionally longer than the Tesla Model Y SUV, and sits higher from the ground.
Despite looking different, Sony bosses said the ’02’ uses the same electric platform as the Vision-S saloon that has been tested on roads since December 2020.
The tech group’s mobility branch ‘intends to explore entry into the EV market,’ it said in a statement on Tuesday
Despite looking different, Sony bosses said the ’02’ (left) uses the same electric platform as the Vision-S saloon (right) that has been tested on roads since December 2020
The seven-seat utility vehicle measures in at around 4.85 metres long, which is fractionally longer than the Tesla Model Y SUV
That means power will likely be generated by a pair of 200kW motors – one at the front axle and one at the rear – producing a combined output of 536bhp from a four-wheel-drive system.
No further information about battery sizes and range capabilities have yet been released.
In terms of the Vision-S 02 SUV’s performance capabilities, Sony said it will have a top speed of ‘more than 112mph’.
While not acceleration times have been shared, the original Vision-S concept was claimed to be able to reach 62mph from a standstill in under than five seconds, Sony said two years ago.
Its dedicated mobility division will now look at exploring the potential for production of such vehicles as Sony looks to expand into new markets.
Sony’s existing knowledge and development of imaging and sensing, cloud and 5G will make it ‘well positioned’ to enter the mobility sector, it said
A prominence in the TV, audio, film and gaming sectors could also give Sony a perfect starting point to create advanced in-car systems, which are predicted to become a major selling point for EVs
In terms of the Vision-S 02 SUV’s performance capabilities, Sony said it will have a top speed of ‘more than 112mph’
Although its once-dominant position in consumer electronics has been eroded by Asian rivals like South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, the Japanese brand still has an arsenal of sophisticated technology.
This includes sensors, which could give it a head-start on the competition when it comes to developing autonomous driving features.
It’s prominence in the TV, audio, film and gaming sectors could also give Sony a perfect starting point to create advanced in-car entertainment systems, which are predicted to become a major selling point for next-generation vehicles using similar electric powertrains.
Shares in Sony jumped 4.2 per cent in Tokyo after the electric vehicle plans were announced, easily outpacing a flat Nikkei index.
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