Sony Honda Mobility Inc (SHM) is now a real thing, and as that name clearly states, is comprised of two behemoth Japanese brands. However, only Honda is known for anything automotive or related to ‘mobility’.
Prior to the surprise unveil of 2020’s Vision S concept car, the closest relationship Sony had to cars were their aftermarket branded audio products such as speakers and head units. However, they’ve now committed to an EV-led future with Honda.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Vision S 01 or 02 will become fully realised production models, but a 2026 window was teased as being when the newly formed 50/50 joint venture is expected to bear fruit in the form of a purchaseable EV.
Following the Tesla playbook, Sony Honda Mobility’s maiden product will be open to pre-orders in 2025 and is only available online – looks like the dealer network will be sidelined altogehter.
This future EV will be targeted at buyers in the US and Japan and built in Honda’s production facilities in North America, at least at first. However, no pricing bracket or expected production volume was indicated at the time of the announcement.
It’s unclear how much of the car will be branded either Honda or Sony, but we can probably guess that the former will be primarily responsible for the actual ‘car’ part – powertrain, battery, platform, body shell, control units – while Sony’s contribution will be its software experience and integration with a larger ecosystem of devices, networks, and cloud-based services.
Interestingly, a stat SHM cared enough to mention was their upcoming car’s impressive projected onboard computing power that’s capable of Level 3 automated drive and Level 2+ driver assistance thanks to a microprocessor array capable of up to 800 TFLOPS (teraflops), or 800 trillion floating point operations per second.
As of late 2022, the only fully electric Honda to come to market is the little e city car, a 5-door hatchback that’s very well regarded beyond what its global sales numbers might suggest.
Within the last few years, Japanese automaker has also recently inked deals with other automakers such as General Motors to share electric vehicle architectures and powertrain tech with the resulting car, the Prologue, due to be on sale in 2024.
Most disappointingly, this recent announcement did not mention anything about a free PlayStation 6 with every Sony-Honda EV. Sounds like a missed opportunity.