Sony and Honda surprised audiences at last year’s CES by announcing the jointly established electric vehicle brand Afeela, and presenting a prototype for the brand’s first model, a somewhat innocuous midsize sedan.
At the 2024 CES on this week in Las Vegas, Afeela presented an updated version of the sedan prototype, one that is more representative of the production version due on sale in the U.S. in 2026. The first powertrain specifications were also announced.
The visual differences between the two prototypes are hard to spot, but the latest version wears new lights and fascias at both ends, plus actual side mirrors instead of the rear-facing cameras of the original show car. The interior essentially looks the same, though, and still includes a yoke-style steering wheel.
The sedan measures 193.5 inches long, making it about two inches shorter than a Honda Accord, but with a wheelbase that’s almost seven inches longer.
Afeela electric sedan prototype as shown at CES 2024
Power comes from a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system. Each motor is rated at 241 hp, which should result in spirited performance. The battery is a 91-kwh lithium-ion unit that will enable DC fast-charging at rates of up to 150 kw. A range estimate hasn’t been released.
A high-level of self-driving capability is planned, including for urban environments, with Sony to provide the imaging and sensing technology. A total of 45 cameras and sensors will be located around the vehicle, including in the cabin. Powering it all will be Qualcomm’s Snapdragon system-on-a-chip computer, the same computer General Motors will use for its upcoming Ultra Cruise automated driver-assist system.
A whole digital ecosystem will also be built up around Afeela’s vehicles. According to the brand, it wants an environment where creators and developers can freely develop applications and services that run in the vehicles, much like how third-party apps are developed for mobile phones.
Order books for the Afeela sedan will open in 2025. Honda will be responsible for production which will be handled at a plant in North America, likely to be in Ohio. An SUV is likely also planned, as Sony had rolled out both sedan and SUV concepts prior to establishing Afeela with Honda.