Afeela saloon is an EV from the makers of Fortnite, Gran Turismo, ChatGPT… and the Honda Civic
New Afeela saloon has been previewed as a joint venture between Honda and Sony, with help from Epic Games and OpenAI
A prototype of the Afeela saloon has been revealed once again at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the product of a joint venture between Honda and Sony with a little help from Epic Games and OpenAI.
No, it isn’t a real-life Fortnite Battle Bus, nor is it a souped-up Honda NSX Gran Turismo racing car. When it reaches production, it will be a luxury electric saloon from the all-new car brand, Afeela.
A future rival to the growing roster of posh electric saloons which currently includes the Tesla Model S, Mercedes EQS, Lucid Air and Porsche Taycan, the Afeela saloon was first displayed at last year’s CES, but has since undergone a variety of changes in its journey towards reaching production.
The exterior of the car is characterised by (surprise, surprise) front and rear LED light bars. Unlike the version shown last year, the latest iteration of the Afeela saloon now features traditional door mirrors instead of cameras, like those fitted to top-spec versions of the Hyundai Ioniq 6.
Perhaps more exciting, however, is the sheer amount of revolutionary technology that Afeela looks to bring to the forefront of the automotive industry. To kick off the presentation, Afeela’s CEO, Izumi Kawanishi, drove the concept onto stage using a Playstation 5 controller – a clear indicator of Sony’s work on this project.
On the inside, things are more ‘Honda’ than ‘Horizon: Zero Dawn’, with the Afeela getting a similar dashboard-wide infotainment setup to the Japanese giant’s first electric car, the Honda e. This is controlled via a touchscreen, as well as BMW iDrive-style rotary dial in the centre console, and is hinted to be powerful enough to play full Playstation video games on.
Speaking of gaming, Fortnite developer, Epic Games, has been put in charge of the Afeela’s infotainment software, making use of its lauded Unreal Engine software. When the production model arrives, drivers will be able to make use of augmented reality navigation, as well as several other downloadable apps and games. Afeela has also said it’s working with Microsoft to make use of its its new Azure OpenAI software. Using framework developed by OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT, this technology is being used to develop a ‘conversational’ virtual assistant.
Powering all of this is a 91kWh battery pack, as well as a pair of electric motors which produce 482bhp. No range or performance figures have been detailed as of yet, although Afeela has stated the production car will get at least 150kW DC rapid charging capabilities.
All of this might seem a bit space-age but it’s not quite as far away as you might think; we expect the customer-ready Afeela to go on sale in the U.S in late 2025, with first deliveries occurring soon after. There’s no word as to whether the Afeela saloon will make its way across the Atlantic to the UK, although if it does we doubt it’ll arrive before the hotly anticipated Polestar 5, which is expected to launch sometime before the end of 2025.
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