The joint-venture between Sony and Honda to make electric cars will be branded Afeela, the companies announced today at the CES tech show in Las Vegas.
Sales in the lucrative US market will get underway in 2026, the companies say.
Afeela’s chairman and CEO is former Honda China executive Yasuhide Mizuno (pictured).
Sony and Honda first announced their intention to develop cars in June 2022, while Sony has previously revealed two EV concepts: the Vision-S sedan and Vision-S 02 crossover.
The former will manifest first, but the latter is a sure bet. Parallels with the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y are hard to overlook.
The iconic Japanese companies say Afeela is about “pursuing innovation with diverse knowledge”, pairing Sony’s software know-how with Honda’s experience in car production.
According to Afeela the 2025 sedan model will be 4895mm long, about the same nose to tail as an Ioniq 6, and bisecting a Tesla Model 3 and Model S.
It will seat five and come with dual-motor all-wheel drive (AWD), although we’ve no idea what battery and motor figures are yet.
Its design will be more rounded and minimalist than the first concept indicated, with black pillars making the glass roof appear to ‘float’, wheels designed for maximum smoothness through the air, and no visible door handles.
The prototype’s exterior includes what the JV is calling a “Media Bar,” designed to use lights to communicate with people around it.
Inside it’s sparse, open and breezy, with extensive use of more environmentally friendly materials planned.
The steering yoke is like those in the Tesla Model S and Lexus RZ, while there’s a set of screens running pillar to pillar – including camera feeds in place of side mirrors like a Genesis GV60, and augmented-reality navigation.
Naturally there will be 5G-based OTA compatibility.
Afeela says it aims to create the world’s best Level 3 automated driving suite by combining Sony’s sensors and Honda’s ADAS safety systems.
The prototype is equipped with 45 cameras and sensors inside and outside, together with 800 TOPS of maximum computing power for the ECU.
It will be software-defined, using Qualcomm Technologies’ Snapdragon Digital Chassis SoC, while the JV also plans to tap value-adds with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine
“By fusing the real and virtual worlds, the mobile space will be expanded into an entertainment space and a moving space. Pursuing the possibility of new entertainment by making full use of digital such as Metaverse,” is how Afeela describes it.
Although the company will be headquartered in Tokyo, its first vehicle will be produced in the United States and exported around the world, including back to Japan.