Sony and Honda during CES 2023 today have revealed that upcoming cars produced through their partnership will be marketed under a new brand officially known as Afeela. The announcement arrived nearly a year after the two Japanese companies shared plans to jointly make and sell electric vehicles (EVs), which was much later planned to become an entirely independent business.
Along with the brand reveal, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida also presented an all-new Afeela prototype sedan onstage during the event, though it currently lacks an official designation. Unlike the original Vision-S model shown a few years back, the new four-door EV is shown to feature a more sleeker, rounded and longer design, along with several new features that are exclusive to it.
For starters, gone are the traditional headlights from the Vision-S prototypes, which are now replaced with a continuous light bar design instead. Integrated between the lights is a new Media Bar, which is not only capable of displaying the vehicle’s branding but also numerous animated sequences that details its current charging status, and even the weather. However, not all of the initial look from the past concepts were discarded, as the new Afeela model is shown to retain the two-tone colour scheme. In addition, its wheels also bear some semblance to those featured on the Vision-S 02 SUV that was revealed last year.
Expectedly, Sony and Honda have done some rework on the EV’s interior as well. While the mostly white upholstery from the Vision-S prototypes are retained, there are some noticeable differences. The most obvious of all is the inclusion of a yoke steering wheel, which might not sit well with some car enthusiasts. Besides that, the ultra-wide hyperscreen which integrates the vehicle’s HUD (heads up display), infotainment cluster and monitors for its side view cameras are mostly unchanged, though the smaller display that’s situated between the dashboard and the middle compartment has been removed.
During the presentation, Yoshida revealed that the Afeela prototype is equipped with 45 cameras and sensors both on the inside and outside to ensure safety and security. He added that the EV’s hyperscreen and Media Bar will be powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, while handling its onboard driver assistance system, infotainment system, car telematics and autonomous driving features is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon digital chassis.
In line with Sony and Honda’s vision, Yoshida emphasised that Afeela EVs is aimed to provide users with “a fun and exciting mobility interaction.” “In addition to movies, games, and music, we envision a new in-cabin experience using our expertise of UX and the UI technologies,” he said.
Prior to this, it was mentioned that the upcoming EV will feature Level 3 automated driving capabilities, which allows it to drive itself in certain situations such as traffic jams, but will still require the human driver’s control when the system requests it. Unfortunately, neither Sony or Honda have disclosed the full specifications of the car, though they did note via the Afeela website that it will feature an AWD (all wheel drive) system, 245/40R21 front and 275/53R21 rear tyres, as well as double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension.
In terms of availability, the Sony CEO said the Afeela EV is scheduled to be shipped out to customers in the US in the spring of 2026. Meanwhile, first preorders of the vehicle are slated to be open in the first half of 2025, though its pricing is still undisclosed at this time.
(Source: Sony / Honda press release / Afeela official website  )
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