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Tokyo 2013: The Top Five

Datsun 1600

Ok, so it’s officially known as the Nismo IDx concept but Nissan isn’t fooling anyone. Fans are going to call this the Datsun 1600 regardless of what badge is fitted. It even has a 1.6-litre engine (albeit turbocharged). It was designed by a team of 100 youngsters who grew up getting to know the Datsun 1600 -- a car that has been around since before they were born -- on video games. Here’s hoping the rear-drive Toyota 86 rival comes to market quicker than the Nissan GT-R, which took seven years to become a showroom reality.

Nissan GT-R Nismo

You could be forgiven for dismissing the latest Nissan GT-R as just another special edition, but that would be a big mistake. This one is the fastest and most powerful (441kW and 652Nm) version of “Godzilla” yet. The 0 to 100km/h times are yet to be published but there are rumours it’s as low as 2.5 seconds. Powered by massive, oversized turbochargers and with chassis input from the Wiliams F1 team, the GT-R Nismo can lap the Nurburgring is a staggeringly quick 7 minutes and 8 seconds.

Honda FCEV

It’s 1997 all over again. Back then, Honda and Toyota were in a race to bring petrol-electric hybrid technology to the masses. Honda pipped Toyota to market but Toyota ended up producing a more successful hybrid system. Toyota has sold more than 5 million hybrid cars since. Now both brands are in a race to introduce hydrogen power to the masses, with a target of 2015. Honda has had a small number of hand-built Clarity fuel cell vehicles in customer hands since 2010, but this FCEV concept is a pointer to its replacement.

Toyota FCV

This oddly shaped Toyota FCV sedan concept with its gaping mouth is the company’s play for the world’s first hydrogen car for the masses. Toyota says a production version of this concept will be in showrooms in 2015. Here’s hoping Toyota follows its tradition of toning down its concept cars by the time it makes full production.

Daihatsu FC Deck

In Tokyo, small is big and big is small. That’s the case with the Daihatsu FC Deck, by far the coolest concept from the pint-sized car-makers. It looks like a shrunk semi trailer, or a candidate for a new show that could be called “Ice Rink Truckers”. It is, in fact, a cute way for Daihatsu to get customers familiar with the new design theme for its next generation of flat-nose vans. Which is a shame. Daihatsu should build it as is.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling