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Tokyo LIVE: Nissan's two retro-styled concepts

by Ronan Glon

The IDx harks back to the iconic Datsun 510.

Nissan has stolen the show in Tokyo by unveiling a duo of retro-styled concept inspired by the iconic Datsun 510 of the late-1960s and early-1970s. Called IDx NISMO and IDx Freeflow, respectively, they both preview a production-bound sports car aimed squarely at the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ.

Designed to the post-1990, "digital native" generation, both IDx concepts feature a square three-box silhouette and sharp lines that hark back to their mutual predecessor. The Freeflow takes the retro style a step further with four round headlights, a chromed grille and a modern interpretation of the alloy wheel design found on Trans Am-going 510s 40 years ago, while the NISMO model gains a race livery inspired by the world of video games, carbon fiber elements and center-locking wheels.

Inside, the IDx Freeflow boasts a simple, comfort-oriented cockpit with room for up to four passengers on denim-upholstered seats. The homage to the 510 continues with a three-spoke steering wheel, a round instrument cluster and round air vents, but the car packs a color touch screen that enables the passengers to control the infotainment system.

The NISMO-tuned model is ready to hit the track with easy-to-read analog gauges, bucket seats with four-point harnesses and a three-spoke small-diameter steering wheel crafted out of carbon fiber.

Nissan has not specified whether the concepts are functional but it explains the Freeflow is designed to use a four-cylinder gasoline engine ranging from 1.2- to 1.5-liters in displacement. Power is transmitted to the drive wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT), but whether the car is front- or rear-wheel drive is up in the air. Likewise, what lurks under the NISMO model remains an enigma.

A toned-down version of the IDx will likely reach showrooms in Japan in the coming months, but it is too early to tell whether the car will be distributed in the United States and in Europe.

Live images by Ben Hsu.

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