Apart from Afeela EV brand under Sony-Honda joint venture, Honda will prepare its own EV lineup as well
We all know that Sony is a stalwart when it comes to batteries, electronic gadgets, audio, optics, entertainment, displays, televisions and a lot more appliances. At the 2020 CES event, Sony stunned the world by showcasing an electric sedan concept named Vision S. Sony assured that it was only experimental and had no intentions to launch.
Vision S was a stunning vehicle as a concept car. With extremely limited expertise in making cars, Sony couldn’t have built an EV on their own. But Sony pulled a Bazinga card when it partnered up with Honda and has now unveiled a new EV brand named Afeela. The Afeela prototype is also an electric sedan just like the Vision S concept.
Sony-Honda Joint Venture
There are a lot of eyebrow-raising features on this car including PlayStation integration and a digital display that stretches across the width of the car’s interior. Yeah, Playstation 5 deliveries are still scarce worldwide and Sony is set to integrate one with their cars.
Entertainment being one of its primary businesses, Sony knows the importance of subscription services. Something similar is said to be implemented on Afeela cars as well. A lot of highlight features could be based on a subscription model, just like Tesla cars which come with Autopilot hardware as standard, but unlocked via software after payment.
In terms of design, it is honestly a mixed bag. The bottom half of the car is extremely straight and minimal and the roof line tapers down aggressively to form a coupe shape. A lot of inspiration has been drawn from Porsche and Lucid cars. This is evident throughout the car’s design including the front LED light bar as well.
It is said that Sony had a hand in the design and development process as well. Unlike Apple and Google cars where the respective companies are said to only make software. Apart from Afeela cars with Sony, Honda is preparing itself for an EV future as well. We saw it with the launch of NSX hybrid supercar and Honda e small electric hatchback.
Prologue will be Honda’s first-ever long-range electric vehicle which is made in partnership with General Motors. There will also be an EV under Honda’s Acura brand and both will be underpinned by General Motors’ Ultium platform.
Specs & Pricing
Not a lot is known about the Afeela electric sedan prototype. A large battery with around 100 kWh of capacity with around 500 km of range from a single charge and an electrifying acceleration is expected. High-tech sensors, cameras, LIDAR sensors and radar modules are placed at key locations which enable semi-autonomous driving and fully autonomous driving in the future.
Afeela cars are said to be produced at one of 12 manufacturing facilities owned by Honda in North America. Bookings will commence from 2025 and launch is in 2026. After that, JDM and Europe are likely to see the launch of Afeela-branded EVs by Sony-Honda joint venture.
Production-spec version of Afeela sedan EV is already under testing and will go head to head with luxury electric sedans like Mercedes-Benz EQS, Porsche Taycan, Tesla Model S, Lucid Air. Prices are expected to be north of $100,000 (Approx Rs. 82 lakh) for top-spec models.