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Tokyo Motor Show Top 5 Highlights

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Out of the dozens of motor shows that happen every year, you can always rely on the Japanese to bring something you’ve never seen before.

Every November, the world’s automotive press comes to the land of the rising sun for the annual Tokyo Motor Show, and 2013’s event definitely didn’t disappoint visitors looking for something a little different to the usual car-show fare. Read on to check out the highlights of the event.

Honda S660 Concept

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Kicking off with one of the most Japanese (and therefore most awesome) cars of the show, Honda unveiled the S660 Concept, a tiny sporty slice of fun designed for the Japanese market for release in 2015.

How tiny is this little number, you ask? The S660 measures just over 11 feet – much smaller than Honda’s sporty hybrid the CRZ which comes in at 13ft 4inches. The engine is also miniscule at 660cc and borrowed from one of Honda’s motorcycle units.

Will this nice little motor come to the UK? It’s possible, as previous “Kei” cars such as the Honda Beat came to European shores in the past. Let’s hope!

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Final Edition

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First of all, yes – this car will be just as much of a handful to drive as its name is to say. Merc’s acclaimed supercar is finally coming off the production line, but not before one final swan song in the Final Edition.

In a dual-unveiling in both Tokyo and the LA Autoshow running at the same time, Mercedes showed off the final SLS in all its glory. To be produced in a run of just 350 units, All-new trim details and bodywork greet the lucky future owners, as does a fantastic 6.3-litre V8 pushing 583bhp. Keep an eye out for one of these after it launches in March 2014.

Nissan IDx Nismo / Freeflow

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This was somewhat a surprise for many attending the show this year. Nissan are always a favourite whether it’s for crazy design (Juke), awesome power (GT-R) or sometimes both (the mental Juke R – a car worthy of Godzilla).

When CEO Carlos Ghosn rolled out in the new IDx Freeflow concept, it seems to have gone down very well. The style is reminiscent of the Datsun 510 – and that’s no bad thing – but with a great futuristic twist. Nissan have said they’ve designed this concept by starting a dialogue with what they call “digital natives” – those people the rest of us call “younguns” – in order to create something the YouTube generation will love. What do you think? Have they cracked it?

Subaru Levorg

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OK, so this is another concept, but cars that you’ll definitely drive are no way as exciting as cars that you might be able to drive in THE FUTURE!

Saying that though, Subaru’s Levorg concept (as ugly a car name as any in recent memory) seems pretty production-ready. I’m personally a huge fan of estate/wagons – especially compared to the huge influx of crossover SUVs that seem to be driving around these days – so a well-designed sporty wagon from the Japanese manufacturer is music to my ears.

Word is that Subaru are due to launch something along these lines next year, so this is another motor to keep our eyes out for, especially as the styling is very similar to the new WRX leaked a few weeks ago and revealed in LA this week.

And the crazy Japanese thing of the year goes to… Honda UNI-CUB β

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Honda have their fingers in a lot of pies these days. From automobiles to robotics, they have a unique position to bring products to market that haven’t been seen before.

Taking research from their ASIMO robotics program, the UNI-CUB announced in May 2012 allows the rider to use their body weight to control the machine’s direction.

The latest version shown off at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show – and sporting a swanky “β” suffix – is smaller, lighter and includes a handy stand to improve stability when getting on and off the device.

Honda scheduled test-drives throughout the show, and have planned to allow businesses and organisations to lease the UNI-CUB β, so you may be able to go and get a coffee without ever having to stand up. Huzzah!

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