Harry Leahey

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Sony Honda Mobility (SHM), a joint venture between the two Japanese companies, has unveiled a prototype for its new electric vehicle (EV) brand, Afeela. 

The prototype, a four-door fastback saloon, has yet to be named, but it will be available for pre-order in the first half of 2025 and will go on sale at the end of that year. Deliveries are expected to begin in spring 2026 in North America. 

It remains unconfirmed if the final product will arrive in the UK or not, but since it’s one of the world’s largest markets for EVs, there's a chance the two firms will want to capitalise on their popularity at some point following the car’s initial launch.  

From the outside, the prototype features a sleek design with no door handles, digital mirrors, and black 21-inch wheels. It also has a "media" light bar at the front which can interact with people and other vehicles. 

The interior of the concept includes a yoke-style steering wheel with touchpads and buttons - a new trend which began with Tesla’s Model S Plaid, and screens in place of physical controls. 

There's also space to accommodate up to five people, who will sit beneath a large panoramic roof in a "cocoon-like atmosphere". 

With 45 cameras and sensors fitted around the vehicle, Sony Honda Mobility plans to develop level 2 and 3 automated drive systems for the prototype.

SHM feels the EV market has reached “an inflection point where the elements of a car are shifting from power and performance to software, networks, and user experiences”. This perhaps explains why the company appears to be in no rush to release any traditional performance figures on the car as would typically be expected. 

According to Sony Honda Mobility, the production model of the Afeela prototype will feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon Digital Chassis technology, which provides drivers with intelligent artificial intelligence systems, enhanced personalization and other intuitive technologies.

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Harry Leahey 05/01/23