Afeela, a new electric vehicle prototype, was introduced by Sony and Honda’s joint mobility business on Wednesday at Sony’s presentation at CES in Las Vegas. The joint venture’s first production electric vehicle, scheduled for release in North America in 2026, will bear the moniker.
Although not much is known about the new brand, Yasuhide Mizuno, CEO of Sony Honda Mobility, stated that the vehicle will showcase an exclusive electric vehicle by utilizing Sony’s expertise in artificial intelligence, entertainment, virtual reality, and augmented reality.
“Afeela is a representation of our idea of an interactive relationship where people experience interactive mobility and where mobility uses artificial intelligence (AI) and sensing technologies to detect and understand people and society,” said Mizuno.
More than forty sensors, such as lidar, radar, ultrasonic, and cameras, will be integrated around the car’s exterior to improve object detection and autonomous driving capabilities. As to Mizuno’s statement, Afeela aims to represent three primary concepts: affinity, augmentation, and autonomy.
The concept that Sony first exhibited at CES three years ago did not like the prototype that was unveiled on stage. Rather, it was a sedan with a closed-off grille, a high-gloss black roof, and a light bar across the front. A bright accent above the wheel wells and black hubcaps were two of the more intriguing external details. The Afeela prototype was compared by some onlookers to a cross between a Porsche 911 and a Lucid Air.
The new electric vehicle will be priced to rival high-end brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, and Audi. According to Sony, subscription services will be available for its software, meaning that car owners will probably need to pay a monthly charge to access specific functions.
Three years prior, Sony surprised CES spectators with the introduction of the Vision-S, a stylish concept sedan. The Vision-S, with its pillar-to-pillar multimedia screens and emphasis on music and entertainment, was meant to be a preview of what a car from Sony would look like if it really produced cars. This, it assured everyone, was not what it intended to do.
As it happened, that wasn’t totally accurate. Early in 2022, word spread that Sony and Honda were forming a joint venture specifically for the aim of manufacturing and marketing electric cars on a large scale. One of Honda’s twelve US plants will begin producing the Sony-Honda vehicles, however the anticipated volume has not been disclosed. The EV will go on sale in the US in 2026, followed by Europe and Japan a year later. In 2025, preorders are expected to open.
Honda is working with General Motors to develop its own range of electric vehicles, beginning with the Prologue. Anticipated for release in 2024, the Prologue is Honda’s inaugural long-range electric vehicle aimed at the North American market. By the end of the decade, Honda plans to introduce a wave of thirty hybrid battery-electric fuel-cell vehicles. This one is the first. The Prologue and an unidentified 2024 Acura car based on Honda’s Precision concept unveiled earlier this year will be powered by GM’s Ultium platform.