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Fresh from the announcement that Mini will become an EV-only brand is what looks to be the next-generation Mini Cooper Electric, snapped here by our intrepid winter spies.

Although the “Electric Test Vehicle” lettering on the side gives the game away, we don’t expect the new Mini to adopt the EV-only policy just yet, with ICE and possibly even hybrid versions on the horizon.

Mini has only just introduced their Mini Cooper SE to the world, although it’s already won a number of fans across the world. However, the new interpretation of the Mini will continue to run internal combustion engines, and is expected to launch in 2023. The last ICE Mini will launch in 2025, with a full-on switchover to electrified power at the end of the decade.

The heavily-disguised prototype is evidently still in its early stages of testing. We’d ignore most visual cues, such as the tacked-on front and rear headlights and rather pointless-looking hood scoop. There are further changes to the rear end, with a more rounded approach taken, noticeable when you compare the boot lid’s edge with where it meets the bumper.

Read: BMW To Make Mini Its First All-Electric Brand By 2030

 

Inside we can see what looks to be a departure from the circle-style interiors and dashboard, with the Mini mule sporting what appears to be BMW-esque widescreen screens. Will they make it on to the production model? That remains to be seen, but we’d think not, as this is still an early pre-production car.

Indeed, with at least another 24-months of testing before we can even start to think of a reveal, a lot could change between now and then. We also expect to start seeing prototypes of the upcoming Mini Countryman crossover, which is also expected to launch in 2023. The Countryman will likely share much of its underhood EV wizardry with the Mini pictured, but it too will feature ICE and possibly hybrid drivetrains.

Mini expects their EVs to account for at least 50 percent of deliveries by 2027. BMW will treat the Mini brand as cars that are “perfect for the city – and for e-mobility.” However, at present, the Mini SE accounts for less than 10% of U.S. sales.

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Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops

Aston Martin has something up their sleeve for March 22nd as the company has teased a high-performance coupe.

The automaker is keeping details under wraps, but the model appears to be based on the Vantage. That remains unconfirmed, but the car has been equipped with a front spoiler and a more traditional grille.

Elsewhere, there are stylish alloy wheels and sportier front fender vents. We can also see a prominent rear wing and a classic green paint job.

Also Read: This Aston Martin Vantage Is Formula 1’s New Safety Car

Autocar notes the vehicle shares a number of similarities with the Vantage F1 safety car, so this is likely a new special edition. If that’s the case, the aerodynamic styling tweaks could provide an additional 132+ lbs (60+ kg) of downforce at 124 mph (200 km/h).

Furthermore, the model could benefit from a retuned suspension and a sportier steering setup. The safety car also boasts additional underbody bracing to increase structural stiffness, but there’s no word on whether or not that would carryover to the road-going model.

One thing we can expect is an upgraded twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine. In the safety car, the output has been increased to 528 hp (393 kW / 535 PS) and 505 lb-ft (685 Nm) of torque. This enables the model to run from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in just 3.5 seconds.

When the rebirth of the iconic NSX nameplate finally came to fruition, the world was impressed. Honda had done it again. And while the new creation was realistically a world away from the original, it had to, in order to be relevant.

But it seems you can no longer outright buy an NSX in Honda’s home market. We’ve already touched on the NSX’s rather dismal US sales story, where as 2020 Audi managed to sell 583 R8s and Mercedes shifted 2,400 AMG-GTs, while Acura only sold 128 NSXs. Even the i8, which saw production end in mid-2020, outsold the NSX by 64 units.

Related: Honda NSX Leaves Australia For Good Having Sold ZERO Units This Year

The story doesn’t get any better over in Japan, where it’s sold as a Honda and has seen similar gradually declining numbers. Now, on the brand’s Japanese website, the 2020 NSX is listed as “no longer for sale.”

Confirming with Honda Japan’s public relations department, Japanese website Car Watch said that sales of the 2020 NSX have stopped. However, Honda did reassure them that this only related to Japanese sales while production continues.

However, it’s not all bad news. Although Honda’s website lists the 2020 NSX as discontinued, some dealerships continue to offer it on a subscription-based service. Could the Japanese automaker have ceased sales of the 2020 NSX in preparation for the 2021 model? We have no way of knowing, but it could be one possibility.

In any case, it shouldn’t have any impact on US-bound cars. Reaching out to Acura USA, they told us that, although they couldn’t comment on other markets, “the 2021 NSX just recently began shipping to customers in the U.S. with high levels of interest for the new Long Beach Blue Pearl color offering.”

H/T to Iraj De Silva for additional Info