Sony is the next tech giant showing a dedication to electric cars.
Ever since the Tesla Model X, both established and boutique manufacturers have been trying to break into the electrified crossover and SUV sphere. The next-in-line to do so is a rather unexpected competitor that presented its showcase at this year's Consumer Electric Show, although it's not the first time the tech giant has dabbled in the car sphere.
During the same period two years ago, Sony unveiled its Vision-S 01 sedan as a design study. We now have the Vision-S 02 which looks like a pretty solid follow-up. The company confirms that this new model will adopt the same EV cloud platform debuted by the Vision-S 01 and is currently being tested on public roads. Sony also says that we can expect the new line-up to hit the global market in the near future but it has not declared an official production date.
While this is a design concept as it stands, Sony has given us a modest list of specs so that we can get some understanding of what to expect. The Vision-S 02 will be available in four or seven-seat layouts, which will be packed into a body that measures 192.7 inches long, 65 inches tall, and 76 inches wide with a wheelbase of 119.3 inches and ground clearance of 6.2 inches. Keeping the look sleek and modern is a set of 255/50 R20 front and 275/45 R20 rear tire and wheel combination.
Overall, the vehicle will weigh in at 5,467 lbs. This is a pretty lofty figure, but Sony states that the Vision-02 will be powered by a dual-motor system with a combined power output of 536 horsepower. No 0-60 mph acceleration time is provided but it confirms that the Vmax top speed will be more than 112 mph. This is most likely limited for the sake of safety. For balance and comfort, the company has opted for a front and rear double-wishbone suspension that is supported by an air spring system.
Before being a car company, Sony is of course a tech-focused pioneer so of course, the interior features and displays will be the highlight of the final package. From what we can see in these concept shots, the Vision-S 02 definitely keeps in line with those principles. The three-spoke steering system is supported by conventional analog titanium-finished controls while the entire dashboard is covered by an immersive panoramic screen display.
This system will act as an entertainment hub for the occupants of the car with a UI that is designed with a focus on ergonomics. An intuitive design has also been promised to allow both the driver and passengers to freely access the content wit music, video, and full-scale video games with various streaming services being supported. Adding to the immersive experience is an innovative 360 Reality Audio system fitted to the headrests.
With the Sony Vision-S 02 being an EV, the company is promising that the upcoming product range will be in-line with current sustainability requirements. In doing so, all of the seats, door trims, consoles, and more will make use of materials that have a low impact on the environment. This includes the usage of bamboo and artificial leather and microfiber made from renewable raw, and partially recycled, materials.
For the floor mats, Sony will be experimenting with Triporous, which is an absorbent carbon material created from rice husks. Invented by Sony, the new material claims to be useful for improving the air quality. The Japanese firm says this is a logical material to use because more than 100 million tons are generated worldwide each year through rice production.
Keeping things safe, the Sony Vision-S 02 will adopt its new Oval Sensing program consisting of 40 sensors both inside and outside the car. With this, the vehicle will constantly monitor safety while driving and aid with reducing the stress of the passengers, and aid eco-friendly driving. The firm also states that it has the goal of achieving level four autonomy but its current system still corresponds to level two-plus.
Using a 360-degree monitoring system, the Vision-S 02 will have the ability to recognize traffic conditions and precise driving assistance, such as advanced cruise control, self-parking, and auto-lane change functions. Within the cabin, a series of camera sensors are fitted to monitor the facial expressions and gestures of the passengers. Using this, it will adjust key systems such as cabin temperature to maintain the well-being of inhibitors.