Sony Honda Mobility Inc (SHM) has unveiled a new smart electric vehicle (EV) prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, the first example of what can be expected from the US-based joint venture between the two Japanese industry giants.

The vehicle, a sporty battery-powered four-door sedan somewhat resembling the Porsche Panamera, was first announced last October and comes under the Honda Motor and Sony Group joint venture’s newly established “Afeela” brand. The 50:50 joint venture itself was established just six months ago to tap into the automotive expertise of Honda and the electronics and artificial intelligence (AI) know-how of Sony.

SHM said in a statement it “strives to become a Mobility Tech Company that will pursue innovation in mobility by combining cutting-edge technology and passion along with people who pioneer the future with their creativity”.

The first Afeela prototype incorporates Sony’s latest technologies in the fields of AI, imaging, networks, sensors and entertainment. It is equipped with a total of 45 cameras and sensors inside and outside the vehicle, together with “800 TOPS of maximum computing power per ECU”.

A pre-production model will be built based on this prototype, featuring Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Digital Chassis in key features areas such as AD/ADAS, HMI/IVI and telematics. SHM said it is “building a strategic technology partnership with Qualcomm Technologies to realize next generation mobility experience”.

The car will be produced in the USA, where EV sales are expected to accelerate significantly over the next several years. It will also be exported to Japan and Europe later on.

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SMH’s CEO Yasuhide Mizuno confirmed his company will begin taking pre-orders for the car in the first half of 2025, with sales to follow by the end of 2025 and deliveries to customers in the USA scheduled to begin in early 2026.