Automotive

Sony breaks into the car game with the all-electric Afeela sedan

Sony breaks into the car game with the all-electric Afeela sedan
The Afeela sedan prototype makes its debut at CES 2023
The Afeela sedan prototype makes its debut at CES 2023
View 10 Images
The Afeela sedan prototype makes its debut at CES 2023
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The Afeela sedan prototype makes its debut at CES 2023
The Afeela prototype uses its "media bar" lighting to communicate information
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The Afeela prototype uses its "media bar" lighting to communicate information
Sony Honda keeps styling smooth and simple
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Sony Honda keeps styling smooth and simple
Plenty of window and digital display square footage inside the five-seat Afeela prototype
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Plenty of window and digital display square footage inside the five-seat Afeela prototype
Afeela will look to create smart, interactive electric vehicles
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Afeela will look to create smart, interactive electric vehicles
Plans call for the Afeela prototype to launch in the first half of 2026
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Plans call for the Afeela prototype to launch in the first half of 2026
The Afeela sedan prototype makes its debut at CES 2023
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The Afeela sedan prototype makes its debut at CES 2023
The Afeela is a more official follow-up to the 2020 Vision S sedan and 2022 Vision-S 02 SUV concepts
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The Afeela is a more official follow-up to the 2020 Vision S sedan and 2022 Vision-S 02 SUV concepts
Like the original Vision-S concept, the Afeela prototype has a full-width digital dashboard capped by side-view camera screens
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Like the original Vision-S concept, the Afeela prototype has a full-width digital dashboard capped by side-view camera screens
The Afeela sedan prototype makes its debut at CES 2023
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The Afeela sedan prototype makes its debut at CES 2023
View gallery - 10 images

Sony has been inching into the EV market ever since it surprised CES 2020 with the impressively put-together Vision-S concept. It officially launched an automotive business two years later, partnered up with Honda a couple months after that, and solidified things with the establishment of Sony Honda Mobility Inc. before 2022 let out. Now, Sony Honda has launched the Afeela brand, showing a new prototype to add some major eye candy to the dry nuts and bolts of a new company launch. The sporty, fully streamlined Afeela sedan looks even sleeker and techier than the show-stopping Vision-S and has a more concrete future.

As stuffy as "Sony Honda Mobility Inc." (SHM) feels, "Afeela" is somehow worse. It rings just a little too cutesy, and we have trouble reading it without hearing "I feel ya." The name is in fact based on the word feel, and we'll let each reader decide if Sony Honda's explanation brings all the right feels: "Afeela expresses an interactive relationship where people 'Feel' mobility as an intelligent entity, and mobility 'Feels' people and society using sensing and network IT technologies."

So, there you have it.

Of more interest to the average car guy or gal, the Afeela brand debut comes with an early preview of its first product – a clean, cool sedan that reminds us of a less droopy, more attractive take on Hyundai's new Ioniq 6 "streamliner." Like the latter, the Afeela sedan's dramatically sloped roofline dips down below the belt line, but this one ends in a stronger, more defined rear-end with wraparound taillight design. The overall design is rather minimalist beyond that, with subtle volumes taking the place of hard-drawn character lines.

Plans call for the Afeela prototype to launch in the first half of 2026
Plans call for the Afeela prototype to launch in the first half of 2026

Sony Honda Mobility has fleshed the Afeela sedan out well beyond a pretty concept shell, calling it a prototype upon which a production car will be based. The 193-in (490-cm) five-seater uses a suite of 45 cameras and sensors, along with a Qualcomm Snapdragon Digital Chassis computing platform, to offer planned Level 3 autonomy in select driving scenarios and Level "2+" autonomy in a broader range of situations, including city driving. The sedan also uses what SHM terms a "media bar" to communicate with other road users via its expansive lighting array.

The tech-driven design continues inside the doors, where a full-width digital dashboard offers discrete driver and passenger displays and digital side-view camera screens. The greater interior architecture curves along with those end-cap camera screens, creating the feel of an enveloping "soft cocoon."

Like the original Vision-S concept, the Afeela prototype has a full-width digital dashboard capped by side-view camera screens
Like the original Vision-S concept, the Afeela prototype has a full-width digital dashboard capped by side-view camera screens

SHM positions the Afeela interior as a space for entertainment and interactivity, along with basic transportation, and plans to mix in some AR and VR features. It's started work with Epic Games' Unreal Engine toward this end.

The Afeela sedan's debut won't be immediate, but Sony Honda is aiming to introduce the production model in 2025 and begin North American deliveries in spring 2026.

Take the full prototype tour in the short video below.

AFEELA | Product Movie

Source: Sony Honda Mobility

View gallery - 10 images
9 comments
9 comments
guzmanchinky
The more the better.
Hopeful
Well, they've broken into the hype game. Remains to be seen if they ever "break into the car game". And it's yet another sedan when the majority of buyers, rightly or wrongly, prefer hatchbacks or SUVs. I never understand this design decision whether they succeed at getting into mass production or not.
Jinpa
The steering wheel is a non-starter. More than a one-eighth to quarter-turn would be ugrippable. Small steering adjustment would be with a movement unacceptably tiny.
Fairly Reasoner
Afeela this is a big mistake.
SciFiHiGi
Looks like a kiddie car. Are there pedals?
Admiral Acbon
@guzmanchinky But at what price?
Grunchy
45 camera lenses, I love it! When they get dirty the car will behave erratically and good luck figuring out which one is causing the behaviour. Or better yet, when the weather gets gritty & all 45 lenses need constant cleaning. The future of Sony is absolutely magnificent!
yawood
I'll bet that steering wheel doesn't make it into production. I doubt it will comply with many country's design rules.
TpPa
Why does Honda want to make another car line? why with Sony, for the car has great Audio & visual components??????????
The market is going to be flooded with diff. manufactures at first, after five years POOF most will be gone, it is a hard road to try and take market space from the big dogs already in place, in the end they will just sell cars at almost a loss until they bankrupt the little guys when they try and compete.
Retail does it all the time, Walmart is great at it, they open a new store, set all key items at the 6% required or go lower, the existing little chains must compete so they do the same, well Walmart has more capitol so the others go bankrupt and close then Walmart slowly brings the prices back up, same will happen in the car business.