From the tech-filled, big-wheeled concepts of major manufacturers to complicated versions of once simple components, we generally know what to expect from the car stuff coming out at the Consumer Electronics Show. However, this year’s CES bash in Las Vegas has given us a huge surprise: the Sony Vision-S.
Yep, Sony of all companies has decided to have a crack at making an electric concept car. The themes it covers are all quite familiar, however, starting with Sony’s wish to “re-imagine mobility as we know it”.
Even the styling gives off a sense of deja vu - Sony has played it safe here, designing something that looks like a cross between a Porsche Taycan and the Faraday Future FF 91, perhaps with a sprinkling of Tesla Model S.
It sits on a “newly designed EV platform” developed by Magna Steyr - the Austrian firm responsible for the construction of the Jaguar I-Pace, A90 Toyota Supra and others. Although no technical details have been provided, Sony has said the architecture is good for numerous applications including coupes, saloons and SUVs.
Inside, the Vision-S hits more familiar EV concept themes, with a vast, Byton-style screen stretching across much of the dashboard. It’s flanked by displays for the rear-view cameras which are used in place of conventional mirrors.
As you’d expect from a Sony product, it has a kick-ass sound system. The cabin includes 360 Reality Audio, which Sony describes as “object-based spatial audio technology”. The idea is you could be listening to a band, with sound from each of the artists coming from the position they’d be sitting or standing in on stage.
The Vision-S is littered in “automotive-grade” sensors, including Sony’s own CMOS sensors. Radar and Lidar technology also features, with all of that working together to provide Level 2 driver assistance. Level 4 “or higher self-driving” is the eventual goal.
It’s unclear if Sony intends to put anything like the Vision-S into production. Right now, the company is merely saying that the vehicle is “intended to illustrate our future concepts in the area of mobility”. The Vision-S is most likely a tool to help Sony understand the future wants and needs of the automotive companies it already supplies, rather than a springboard to make a Tesla rival.
Whatever happens, you’ll no doubt be able to drive it in Gran Turismo Sport at some point.