Sony’s EV is Coming to Gran Turismo 7

Four years on from revealing potentially its first ever vehicle, the Vision S, Sony has shown off its updated production prototype and announced that it will be coming to Gran Turismo 7 later in 2024.

The car came as quite the surprise when initially uncovered at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, as Sony had never before made the move into the automotive sphere. However, just a year later, the company revealed that the first prototypes were undergoing road-testing already.

Sony’s potential fleet doubled in 2022 when it unveiled the Vision S 02 SUV, and soon after it was announced that it had partnered with Honda to form a joint venture — Sony Honda Mobility — under which to produce the cars under a new brand called “Afeela”.

Sony Honda Mobility president and chief operating officer Izumi Kawanishi was on-stage during Sony’s official 2024 CES press conference to present the latest version of the car, officially called the Afeela Prototype 2024.

Naturally, he drove the Afeela onto the stage from outside the vehicle with a DualSense controller — which has something of the familiar about it! — for the presentation, which centered on much of the advanced technologies.

This includes a mooted AI driver assistance suite, L2/L2+ autonomous vehicle systems, and augmented reality navigation — alongside the expected entertainment options. There’s also a “conversational personal agent” developed in collaboration with Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI, in the latest stage of a partnership between the games console rivals announced back in 2019.

Most notably for Gran Turismo fans though was the partnership between Sony Honda Mobility and Polyphony Digital, also announced by Kawanishi during the event.

The partnership is intended to feed PD’s simulation technology into the vehicle development pathway of Sony Honda Mobility, as well as sharing information about the vehicles in the virtual world.

Gran Turismo 7 players will soon get to experience the first fruits of that when the Afeela Prototype itself arrives in the game at an as-yet unspecified date in 2024 — allowing potential customers the opportunity to drive the car virtually before it comes to market.

The latest specifications for the car, also published today, reveal that the car uses a pair of 180kW (241hp) motors, with one on each axle for a combined 482hp and all-wheel drive.

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