It was the surprise at CES 2020, and now Sony’s VISION-S electric car seems to be taking shape. And that is the second surprise. It was thought that Sony mainly wanted to show off its automotive technology and build a car around it as a gag, but Sony seems to be seriously considering putting its own car on the roads.
The fact that the audio and entertainment systems are supposed to be top-notch is not surprising here for once, but there are some details about the specifications that point to an autonomous electric car from the start. Two electric motors with 400kW (536hp) of total power provide all-wheel drive, 0-100km/h (0-62mph) goes in 4.8 seconds, and top speed is said to be 240 km/h (149 miles per hour). A total of 40 sensors are said to provide autonomous driving capability.
There are no details yet on planned battery capacity and when the vehicle will be available, but the fact that Sony has brought the vehicle to Europe, specifically to Graz in Styria, where there is an automotive cluster around Magna that also builds the Jaguar iPace, among others, and an impressive list of companies Sony has partnered with, point to big things to come.
Sony’s forging ahead is also interesting because the Japanese manufacturers Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Suzuki have so far been reluctant to deal with electric cars. Sony could see this vacuum as suitable space to fill.
The following, somewhat longer video goes into more detail about the VISION-S and Sony’s Vision (the video is in Japanese and English, but subtitles – Close Captions – can be turned on).
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This article was also published in German.