The Afeela new EV concept was introduced by Sony and Honda’s joint mobility business on Wednesday at Sony’s presentation at CES 2023 in Las Vegas. The brand will be on the joint venture’s first electric vehicle in production when it goes on sale in North America in 2026.
Sony Honda Mobility CEO Yasuhide Mizuno claimed the automobile would take advantage of Sony’s experience with Artificial Intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, and entertainment to deliver a different EV.
Afeela: Everything you Need To Know About The New Sony-Honda EV Hybrid
In order to improve the car’s capability for object detection and autonomous driving, more than 40 sensors, including lidar, ultrasonic, radar, and cameras, will be integrated throughout the body of the vehicle. Affinity, Augmentation, and Autonomy are the three key elements that Afeela will try to encapsulate, according to Mizuno.
The prototype that was unveiled on stage differed significantly from the idea that Sony first presented at CES three years prior. Instead, it was a sedan with a high-gloss black roof, a headlight across the front, and an enclosed grille. Some of the more intriguing exterior elements included a light accent over the wheel wells and black hubcaps. Many individuals compared the Afeela prototype to a combination between the Porsche 911 and the Lucid Air.
The new EV will be priced to rival models from BMW, Audi, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz as well as other luxury automakers. As per Sony, its software will presumably offer subscriptions, indicating car owners will most likely have to pay a monthly fee to access specific features.
Sony stunned CES attendees three years ago by unveiling the classy Vision-S concept car. The Vision-pillar-to-pillar S’s touchscreen displays an emphasis on entertainment and music were intended to demonstrate what a Sony car would look like in the future. It assured everyone that this wasn’t what it had aimed to achieve.
It found out that wasn’t entirely true. Early in 2022, rumors began to circulate that Honda and Sony were establishing a joint venture, particularly with the objective of producing and selling electric vehicles. Although no details regarding the planned volume have been revealed, the Sony-Honda automobiles will be produced in one of Honda’s 12 US sites. The US will launch EV sales in 2026, with Japan and Europe following later. Preorders are rumored to start in 2025.
In other ways, Sony sees vehicles in general, and electric vehicles in particular, as a key platform for its technology and entertainment offerings going forward. But it’s not satisfied with designing its operating system similar to Apple’s and Google’s or licensing its software and hardware to automakers.
It also wants input into how things are designed and developed. For a manufacturer that has never made vehicles before, it is particularly dangerous and expensive. Take a peek at Dyson. Just because you produce exceptionally excellent non-automotive goods doesn’t guarantee your abilities will automatically transfer to the automotive industry.
Honda is creating its own line-up of EVs, with the Prologue, which is being created in partnership with General Motors. The Prologue is Honda’s first long-range EV aimed at the North-American market, and it’s anticipated to be on sale in 2024. It is the first of 30 hybrid battery-electric fuel-cell vehicles that Honda claims will be available by the end of the decade. Both the Prologue and an unknown 2024 Acura car based on Honda’s Precision concept unveiled earlier this year will be powered by GM’s Ultium platform.