Tokyo motor show 2013: our star cars

  • Cars you should see on the roads by 2015
  • Models coming soon; most will be UK-bound
  • Here are our highlights from the Tokyo show
  • Mitsubishi XR-PHEV

    Mitsubishi XR-PHEV

  • Alpina B4 Bi-turbo

    Alpina B4 Bi-turbo

  • Honda Fit (Jazz)

    Honda Fit (Jazz)

  • Honda NSX

    Honda NSX

  • Honda Urban SUV

    Honda Urban SUV

  • Lexus RC Coupe

    Lexus RC Coupe

  • Nissan GT-R

    Nissan GT-R

  • Subaru Levorg Concept

    Subaru Levorg Concept

  • Toyota FCV Concept

    Toyota FCV Concept

  • VW Up Hybrid

    VW Up Hybrid

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The 2013 Tokyo motor show has been host to plenty of unveilings, and a range of global debuts. The What Car? team scoured the show stands to sort the pie-in-the-sky concepts from the near production-ready models, to compile a list of our favourite cars that should be on the roads within the next few years. Here are the highlights.

Alpina B4 Bi-turbo
Alpina’s take on the BMW 4 Series is a twin-turbocharged 404bhp coupe, capable of 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds. That performance should be sufficient to beat even the BMW M4 that’s due next year. The B4 Bi-turbo gets the same suspension tweaks as the B3 Bi-turbo saloon, as well as an equally lavish interior with myriad personalisation options. It’s due on sale early next year, and we expect it to cost from around £58,500.

Honda Vezel
The much vaunted Vezel small SUV is a vital launch as it plugs a gap in the Honda range. It arrives in Japan in the new year but won’t reach European shores until 2015. Expect to see the 1.6 diesel from the Civic and the all-new 1.5 turbo VTEC petrol. A new name is a must, though.

Honda Fit
Known as the Fit in Japan, we won’t see the new Honda Jazz until 2015. When it does arrive, Honda’s 1.0 three-cylinder turbo petrol engine will be the standard offering. It has already launched in Japan and the US, where it gets hybrid power. There won't be a diesel offering, though.

Honda NSX
We can’t wait to see the NSX, which is pencilled in for arrival in the USA in 2015 and Europe thereafter. The fabulously proportioned supercar is going to be a four-wheel-drive hybrid, sporting a three-motor set-up as used in the US-only Acura RLX saloon.

Lexus RC
Lexus turned heads with its striking all-new RC coupe. It shares the same platform as the GS saloon, and is just as wide – but with a body shorter and lower than the compact IS, makes it look much more aggressive and sporty. Production starts autumn 2014, and the coupe is UK-bound – but not with the 3.5-litre V6 engined RC350 on show in Tokyo. The 2.5-litre RC300h hybrid (pictured) is being considered. Prices will be announced next year along with the engine line-up, but we expect them to start at around £35,000.

Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV
The XR or ‘Cross Runner’ concept previews a replacement for the Mitsubishi ASX SUV. As the show car indicates, it’s set to be offered with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, as well as a choice of petrol and diesel engines. You’ll also be able to buy one with four-wheel drive. Mitsubishi says it will be priced to compete with rivals from Hyundai and Kia, and it should be on sale in the UK in 2015.

Nissan GT-R Nismo
The incredibly quick Nissan GT-R gets quicker still in Nismo guise. The power hike to 591bhp means a rumoured 0-62mph time of 2.5 seconds. There are lashings of carbonfibre outside and inside, but more substantively, a new suspension setup that’s designed to improve performance as well as refinement. The Nissan GT-R Nismo goes on sale late next year, although there’s not yet confirmation of price. We expect it will be a six-figure sum, though.

Subaru Levorg
Subaru’s Levorg is billed as a prototype car, but it’s probably the closest to a production model of any of the ‘concepts’ in Tokyo. The sports tourer previews the replacement for the Legacy estate and will launch in Japan with a 2.0 petrol engine, as well as a new 1.6 petrol that claims 49.2mpg. There’s no confirmation yet of whether this will be sold in the UK or not, but if it is, then Subaru will need to offer it with a diesel, too.

Toyota FCV
Toyota hopes to have a good looking, fuel cell-powered FCV on the road by 2015. It’s hard to see it arriving in Europe due to the lack of a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, but the Japanese manufacturer has high hopes for the technology. The FCV allows for a range of more than 300 miles, a refuel time of three minutes and an exhaust tailpipe that emits only pure water.

Volkswagen Twin Up
We’ve already driven a prototype of the plug-in hybrid VW Up, but this is the first time it’s been seen in concept form. The Twin Up carries over the diesel-electric powertrain from the VW XL1, and is rated at an astonishing 257mpg with CO2 emissions of 27g/km. Whether it gets the green light for production depends on customer reaction to the pure-electric VW e-Up that goes on sale next year.

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