CES 2020

Sony surprises with Vision-S vehicle reveal at CES

Photo courtesy of Sony

Buried in a CES publicity effort that included highlights such as the fact that broadcasting football games on a 5G-connected camera is now possible and the debut of an 8K LCD TV, Sony surprised the auto industry by debuting their new vision of mobility, the Vision-S.

The model is a prototype that shows off Sony's efforts in mobility including the realms of safety, reliability, comfort, and entertainment. On-board is Sony's imaging and sensing technologies as well as software regulated using Sony's AI, telecommunication and cloud technologies.

Sony Vision-S

Photo courtesy of Sony


The vehicle features 33 sensors, including CMOS image sensors and time of flight (ToF) sensors within the vehicle. These sensors are designed to detect and recognize people and objects inside and outside the vehicle, and provide "highly advanced driving support."

Each of the two rows of seating in the vehicle features Sony's "360 Reality Audio" system. Bose has similar technology built into the Nissan Kicks.

The crossover's front seats have a panoramic screen in front of them that has the ability to display rich content.

Sony continues their brand story promising to continue deliver greater safety and reliability, "while also striving to inspire new emotion through revolutionary in-car entertainment experiences."

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The Ferrari 812 Competizione comes in two varieties.

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

A new variant of the Ferrari 812 Superfast has been revealed. The Ferrari 812 Competizione models are a limited edition series of vehicles in two variants, coupe and targa, known as the Ferrari 812 Competizione and the Ferrari 812 Competizione A.

Both models sport a naturally-aspirated 6.5-liter V12 engine that achieves 818 horsepower. The power plant is, on the surface, the same that is in the Ferrari 812 Superfast but engineers have tinkered with the fresh version to optimize fluid dynamics of the intake system and combustion, reducing internal friction.

Ferrari has paired the engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that the automaker says delivers a new type of shifting feeling. The setup retains the same gear ratios as the 812 Superfast but has more rpm range. The engine can rev to 9,500 rpm and a progressive growling comes spewing out of the car's exhaust system, which comes complete with a gasoline particulate filter that ensures the car meets modern emissions standards.

Ferrari 812 Competizione & Ferrari 812 Competizione A

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

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A single front air intake works to keep things cool up front marking the first time such an adaptation has occurred on a V12-powered Ferrari. The cooling circuit has also been improved making it 10 percent more efficient and the oil tank has been redesigned to allow for extra flow.

Engineers have given the new Ferraris added braking power. That includes a redesigned version of the caliper that was first used on the SF90 Stradale and other modifications. These changes allowed Ferrari to redesign the car's front underbody freeing up space around the lower front wishbone suspension and extending the area that could be used to generate downforce. The car has a passive mobile aero system.

The backside of the new variants has a unique design with a fresh exhaust layout, diffuser geometry, spoiler volume, patented rear screen, and bumper design. The rear diffuser now extends across the full width of the car and redesigned silencers and tailpipes that are integrated into a single pipe.

Four-wheel steering and independent rear-wheel steering features a new electronic management system. Refinements have been made to the car's response system to deliver a more connected drive experience. It features a new iteration of Ferrari's Side Slip Control system and rides on new Michelin Cup2R tires.

Weight savings abounds throughout the car and though much of it isn't apparent to the untrained eye, it helps the performance of the car. This includes the dashboard and door panels. The door panel pocket juts out from the main structure almost as if it were a floating element.

The 812 Competizione A features a number of modifications that differentiate it from the 812 Competizione including the implementation of a flying buttress design that helps the car's center of gravity to appear lower that the coupe's. When the targa top is stowed, the roll bars jut out becoming a secondary visual element.

Each of the cars comes standard with Ferrari's extended seven-year maintenance program.

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Subaru trademarked the Wilderness name long before the Outback Wilderness debuted.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Subaru has sought to trademark the word 'Solterra' from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The filing is the type that comes when an automaker is about to announce a new product.

What could Subaru be cooking up? A quick look at Toyota will give you the answer. You see, Toyota and Subaru have an agreement to co-develop products together. That includes the Toyota GR 86, which is modified slightly and sold as the Subaru BRZ and the Toyota Prius Prime, which has donated its powertrain to the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid.

A few weeks ago, Toyota revealed the bZ4X Concept, an all-electric SUV that will come to market as the bZ4X is the very near future. That concept is just the start of Toyota's electric future and they've detailed what to expect a little more fully via a news release and some trademark searching.

Toyota bZ4X Concept face front The Toyota bZ4X Concept is slightly smaller than the modern Subaru Forester but has about as much inteiror Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

It's been said all along that Subaru plans to make its own version of that vehicle, and for a long time it's been thought that it was going to be the Evoltis. But, and this is a big but, Evoltis sounds a little more like a concept name rather than a production name. Take 'Viziv'. That's the working name the automaker gave to its Ascent three-row SUV when it was creating it just a few years ago. 'Ascent' feels more in line with the 'Forester' and 'Crosstrek' nomenclature, no? The same for 'Solterra'.

Now there's the Solterra vs. Soltera debate. USPTO has the trademark filing listed under 'Soltera' but a simple click-through reveals that the mark request is actually for 'Solterra'. The double 'r' makes the most sense as Solterra would be the combination of Latin words: 'soltis' means sun and 'terra' means Earth. That fits perfectly with the Subaru company styling.

When reached out to for comment, Subaru replied, "We cannot comment."

Even if the Solterra name isn't used for the new EV, it is possible that we'll see it down the road on a trim level or new style of vehicle. As they say on Reels, stay tuned.

Subaru Solterra A trademark search reveals Solterra is in the process of being trademarked by Subaru.Photo courtesy of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

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