Sony has been spelling out its electric car ambitions at CES with the Vision S concept in 2020, followed by the Vision S O2 concept in 2022. For CES 2023, we're getting a better picture of what the production version of Sony's EV project — in partnership with Honda — will look like.
Sony Honda Mobility announced the formation of a new car brand, Afeela. The company chose the name because "Feel" is at the center of the mobility experience. It will officially be rendered as AFEELA in all caps. There's an Afeela prototype, a swoopy sedan that looks like an electric Honda Accord. Deliveries of the new vehicle to the North American market are scheduled for Spring 2026.
We know a bit about the tech going into the Afeela car, presumably Sony's contribution. It will have an exterior "Media Bar" that will use light to "enable interactive communication between mobility and people." Afeela will partner with Qualcomm for its computer hardware and Epic Games for its graphical interface. Afeela's car will also have 45 internal and external cameras and sensors offering, potentially, some form of Level 3 automated driving.
Less clear is what the Afeela car itself, presumably Honda's contribution, will look like. We know that it will seat 5, have a double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension and offer all-wheel drive. Honda has trailed its rivals in getting EVs to market. The first modern, mainstream Honda EV to hit the market will be the Prologue, which will ride on GM's Ultium platform. Honda is also partnering with GM on a new line of affordable EVs tapped for 2027.
The main question Sony and Honda's Afeela brand will have to answer — like the Apple Car — will be what a tech company will bring to the automotive landscape that legacy manufacturers are not. And that's not readily apparent from the initial offering.