Sony Honda Mobility reveal Afeela brand and prototype EV
Three years after showing its first concept car, Sony, with partner Honda, has revealed its electric car brand and a concept that previews the first model. Sony Honda Mobility (SHM), the company formed by the electronics and automobile giants, will create a brand called Afeela to sell its electric cars.
The concept car, bearing no other names besides the Afeela brand, looks fairly different from the original Sony concepts, other than also being a sedan-like vehicle with a satin gray paint. The shape is extremely clean and minimalist, with as few creases, curves and lines as possible. The front and rear lights are simplified down to basic bars. It all looks extremely aerodynamic, too. The whole thing is reminiscent of a Hyundai Ioniq 6 if you simplified it much further. And on the topic of the Hyundai, the Afeela is roughly the same length and width as the Korean sedan.
The exterior does have a couple unique features, though. Most notably is the “Media Bar” at the front between the actual headlight units. It’s a screen that can display all kinds of information and even be personalized. Though we suspect government regulators may restrict just how customizable that panel can be. It can of course also provide information on charging and potentially even info to pedestrians, especially as this car is meant to have some autonomy.
The interior is about as minimalist as the exterior, but with the ever-more popular full-width bank of screens, including ones for the side mirrors. The rear seats have individual screens, too. Sony touts an emphasis on offering all kinds of entertainment for passengers. It didn’t mention anything about installing a PlayStation in the car, but it did mention that it’s partnering with Epic Games on developing entertainment options.
Sony also went on to talk about some aspects of the car’s technology and features. The car features 45 cameras and sensors, all from Sony for use with the vehicles safety systems, which are being developed by Honda. It’s partnering with Qualcomm for the car’s computer chips. Sony claims the car will be capable of Level 3 autonomous driving in some situations, though that will require driver attention in some conditions, mainly urban driving. Level 2 driver assistance will be available in those situations.
No details on the battery or the motors were given. The car is all-wheel-drive, though, and we would imagine it uses the common dual-motor layout, one at each end. Looking at the specifications, the car has wider rear tires, so we would bet the rear has a larger motor. The front end uses double-wishbone suspension, and the rear has an independent multilink setup.
Afeela cars will be sold primarily online. Pre-orders for the production model, which again will be based around this prototype, will start in the first half of 2025, with orders being finalized toward the end of the year. The first deliveries to North American buyers will be in 2026. The cars will be built at a Honda facility in North America.