We’re getting a lot of Porsche Taycan vibes here

Just as we were prepared to suck it up and live with the painfully small amount of vehicles presented at CES 2020, Sony, known mostly for its electronics and PlayStation gaming consoles, drops the bomb by unveiling an all-electric car prototype.

No, it’s not a Porsche although it looks a lot like one, don’t you think? This contraption here is called Vision-S and with it, Sony wants to brag about its ability to keep up with the latest mobility trends that will ultimately turn our cars into downright entertainment spaces, especially once Level 5 autonomy begins to shift from exception to norm. Here’s what you need to know about the Sony Vision-S.

Wait, what? Since when is Sony building cars?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The Taycan/Panamera-resembling Sony Vision-S shown at CES 2020 is just a concept car for now, but it’s here to showcase the Japanese company’s proficiency in the field of sensors, cameras, and entertainment, as well as safety and comfort.

So, is the car itself a surprise? Well, yeah, and a huge one too, mostly because Sony knew how to remain tight-lipped about its plans to develop a car.

We’re told that the Vision-S sedan uses 33 sensors - including CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) image sensors, ToF (Time-of-Flight) sensors, Solid State LiDAR and radar systems - ‘to detect and recognize people and objects inside and outside the car, and provide highly advanced driving support.’ There’s a handful of vehicles currently using Sony’s CMOS image sensors, including the likes of Lexus ES, NX, and UX, but also Japan-spec versions of the Toyota Crown and Alphard/Vellfire. Sony also says that the Vision-S can deliver Level 2 autonomy.

What’s more, the Japanese conglomerate believes that as the interest for smart mobility evolves, the car as we know it will be redefined as the next generation of entertainment space. To make the first step in that direction, Sony fitted the Vision-S with what it calls ‘360 Reality Audio,’ basically a fancy sound setup that has speakers embedded into the seats ‘to encapsulate passengers in sound.’

In addition to that, there’s a panoramic screen facing the Volvo-style front seats. It occupies the whole surface of the dashboard à la Byton and Sony says it’s used for driving information and entertainment. There are no buttons whatsoever and even the steering wheel appoints a stylish yet simplistic approach.

What powers the Sony Vision-S?

2020 Sony Vision-S Concept Exterior
- image 879236

Sony’s CEO Kenichiro Yoshida took that stage next to the Vision-S at CES 2020 and said

the concept is built on a ‘newly-designed’ EV platform that does allow future applications, including SUVs.

The Japanese giant partnered with Magna Steyr, which handled the engineering side of the car, but also Bosch, ZF, and tire maker Continental.

No info is given on the concept car’s powertrain, but Carscoops reports that power comes from two 200-kilowatt electric motors which allow the Vision-S to reach 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 4.8 seconds. Top speed is 149 miles per hour (239 kilometers per hour).

Final Thoughts

2020 Sony Vision-S Concept Exterior
- image 879233

As we pointed out here, 2020 and the years to follow are going to bring us a lot of electric cars, be it in final form or in concept shape. While the better part of those cars will come from established carmakers (older or younger), some tech companies are set to take a stab at the EV, ultra-connected car segment and Sony’s Vision-S is the best example in this regard.

Building an electric car is largely easier than trying to fit all the puzzle pieces of an internal combustion vehicle, so by securing strategic partnership with the industry’s suppliers, a tech giant could come up with its own EV with relatively low efforts - apart from the financial one, of course.

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: