Editor’s Note: In this week’s Rant, Peter discusses the absurdity of naming in this new EV era. In On The Table, we get a look at the Ram Evolution BEV Concept, as well as BMW Group’s ‘vision’ as presented at CES and news from McLaren Automotive. In Fumes, Peter introduces us to a new chapter of The Drivers, his much-talked about series about the giants of motorsport. This week he talks about the great American racer, A.J. Foyt. And finally, in The Line, read the news about Andretti Global and General Motor’s plan to compete in F1. Enjoy! -WG
By Peter M. DeLorenzo
Detroit. So, there I was, at my desk, contemplating what my first column for the new year would be about –and frankly not coming up with anything interesting – when a gift emerged out of the blue from the ether. Sony Honda Mobility unveiled the brand name for its new line of EVs at CES in Las Vegas, which will start arriving in 2026: Afeela. 
Yes, every once in a while, when you think that this business couldn’t possibly get more mired in mind-numbing boredom and tedious corporate inertia, a lightning bolt of pure absurdity strikes with no warning whatsoever. Are you afeeling me? Afeela is the brand name that Sony and Honda alighted upon to present its EVs to the public? Afeela is the brand name that Sony and Honda will stake their joint technical prowess on? Afeela is the brand name that will inspire consumers to take a serious look and maybe even buy? In the immortal words of the great Vince Lombardi: “What the hell is goin’ on out there?!?”
Straight from the “You Just Can’t Make This Shit Up” File, Sony and Honda have provided everyone with a piñata of endless laughs and ridicule, and it’s damn-near priceless at this point. I mean, I would have loved to have been at the final brand naming meeting when they revealed Afeela, because they obviously missed having someone there who could clear his or her throat and exclaim: “Uh, WTF are you morons thinking?”
So, as a service to our legions of AE readers, we thought we’d give you a preview of some other unexpected EV sub-brand linkups you can expect over the next few years.
Acura Energizer: JUICE
Alfa Romeo Barilla Mobility:  FARFALLEV
Aston Martin Holland and Holland: DELUXEV
Audi Eilenbergers Bakery: MOIST 
Bentley James Purdey: SIDEVLOCK
BMW Dr. Martens: PUG 
Buick Darjeelng: SLEEPEV
Cadillac Hermes: IDYLIQ
Chevrolet Coca-Cola: FIZZ 
Dodge Liquid Smoke: FOGG 
Ferrari Ferrari: LADOLCEVITA 
Ford Carhartt: SADDLE
Fu-King Motors: FUKMEV
Genesis Warner Music Group: PHIL
Hyundai Buydeem: TOAST
Jaguar Austin Powers: SHAGUR
Jeep Huckberry: ROCKEV
Lamborghini Lamborghini: AGILIVE
Land Rover John Rigby: PUMP
Lexus Larry David: EHH
Lincoln Lincoln Logs: OOD
Lotus White Lotus. PRIVI
Maserati Maserati. ALFI
Mazda Hasbro. SCRABBLE
McLaren McLaren: NZT
Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz: TUNG!
Mini Mini: WHIF
Porsche Porsche: NO$UB
Ram Trucks Hammer Made: TONGS
Rivian Rivian: SHOBT
Rolls-Royce DreamCloud: FLOAT
Sony Honda Mobilitiy: AFEELA
Subaru Pet Smart: FURZ
Toyota Walt Disney: MICKEY-V
Volvo Brinks: VAULT
VW Birkenstock: FUNC
As you can see, the Sony Honda EV partnership is just the tip of the iceberg. It is setting off a firestorm – well, maybe using the word “fire” with BEVs is inappropriate but hey, it’s early days – of niche upon niche vehicles. We’ll have everything from mundane EVs made out of balsa wood, to dramatic EVs oozing style, and anything and everything in-between.
Just be forewarned that when you’re looking for an offshoot of your favorite brand going forward, expect the unexpected. Or a lightning bolt of pure absurdity.
And that’s the High-Octane Truth for this first issue of 2023.
Editor’s Note: If you missed our 2022 Year in Review, you can read it here. -WG

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