Sony and Honda launch new electric car brand Afeela
Sony and Honda have launched their new joint brand: Afeela. Their first prototype will be a state-of-the-art electric sedan that will be unveiled at CES 2023 in Las Vegas. The production model has been announced for 2025.
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One after the other, CES, Sony and Honda shed light on their joint car projects. The 2023 edition of the annual high-tech show, which is currently opening its doors in Las Vegas (USA), is an opportunity for two Japanese companies. their mobility brand is called Afeela. This name is expressed around the word “feel” (“sensation” in English) and “hiss”. refers to the interactive relationship in which people experience mobility as an intelligent entity, and mobility experiences people and society using sensor and network technology. “, announces the SHM (Sony Honda Mobility) joint venture. It all started with the introduction of the Sony Vision-S electric sedan concept in 2020, followed by the Vision-S 02 SUV in 2022 and then the announcement of this partnership between Sony and Honda At the same time, the Vision-S, based on the Magna technical base, was tested on the road. The Afeela brand presentation is accompanied by a prototype. This is a new “zero emission” sedan, the production version of which is planned to be launched in 2025.
Afeela refines her style
Like the Vision-S, the new prototype (unnamed) adopts a “fast back” profile that guarantees an aerodynamically optimized range. It is 4.90 m long, 1.90 m wide and 1.46 m high, with a wheelbase of 3 m between 21-inch solid wheels. The car ditches the almond-shaped headlights and curved wings of the Vision-S for more minimalist lines. The lights are thin, horizontal and connected front and back. Round wings are generously overlaid on soft lines, which, according to the manufacturer, should give passengers the impression of being in a cocoon. Five seats are illuminated by a large panoramic roof. Minor mechanical information transferred. The car has all-wheel drive. The suspension is double wishbone at the front and multi wishbone at the rear. The Vision-S and Vision-S 02 shared a twin-engine powertrain with 544 horsepower. But the new prototype is designed to present more technologies than technical features.
The ultra-connected car
The Afeela prototype is equipped with 45 sensors (lidar, camera, etc.) distributed between exterior and interior. Pay particular attention to the retro cameras and the “hood” where certain elements are located in the front part of the roof. Developed by Sony, these elements are linked to Honda’s active safety systems and SHM’s American partner Qualcomm’s Snapdragon “digital chassis”. It is a digital platform that brings together computers and software specifically dedicated to driving vehicles, semi-autonomous piloting and connecting to various networks (between cars, between vehicles and infrastructure, etc.) via 5G. Level 3 (out of 5) is declared autonomous management. Another technology supplier is on board: Epic Games, an American video game development studio that works primarily on the car’s multimedia interface. This goes as far as virtual functions in the metaverse. Sony and Honda announce a computing capacity of 800 TOPS, or 800,000 billion operations per second.
A popular streaming platform
The strip connecting the headlights acts as a screen and allows you to display information intended for other road users, such as images or animations for pleasant cinematics. The car’s interior design is as minimalistic as the exterior, and its instrumentation is almost entirely digital. The screens take up the entire width of the dashboard and allow access to Sony’s extensive catalog of movies, music and video games by streaming from remote servers (the cloud) or connecting to a remote home device (such as a games console). These services are also available to rear passengers thanks to a large monitor installed behind each front seat. According to SHM, the sedan features an aviation-style cut-ring steering wheel similar to Tesla’s Yoke model or the Toyota bZ4X to give the driver good visibility into the digital instrument cluster.
A cut-out steering wheel provides visual access to the screens.
Sony will offer video, music and video game services on board.
The car has a large glass roof.
Pre-orders for the first Afeela-badged vehicle will begin in the first half of 2025. The order book will open at the end of 2025 and first deliveries are planned for spring 2026 in North America.