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Australia’s favourite rally car, the Datsun 1600, could be revived as a budget-priced rear-drive sports-coupe, if this Nissan concept car from the Tokyo motor show is a guide.


Carsguide.com.au has reported that the IDx Nismo concept took centre stage on the Nissan stand at the Tokyo Motor Show -- ahead of the updated GT-R -- with two models: a retro-themed lime green standard car and a sports model with hints of rally versions of early Datsun 1600s.

Nissan's IDx Nismo concept car at the Tokyo Motor ShowThe concept car is powered by a 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder engine which drives the rear wheels. Company insiders say it could fill the void left by the exit of the Nissan 200SX and be a cheaper alternative to the Nissan 370Z.

Nissan says many of the designers of the IDx were people who "grew up playing racing simulation games" and fell in love with the iconic Datsun 1600, which is older than many of the people who designed the IDx.

The original Datsun 1600 was a favourite among professional and amateur rally drivers because of its nimble frame, powerful engine and rear-drive chassis.

Nissan has not confirmed the IDx will go into production but if early reaction to the car at the show is a guide, the Japanese company will be buoyed by the positive response.

Rob Parry, Datsun 1600, Alpine RallyMany of Australian rallying’s greatest drivers cut their teeth in Datsun 1600s, and even today, the cars are a prominent force in classic rallying events around the country.

The return of the Datsun 1600 would be something Datsun and Nissan fans will be licking their lips about.

Photo: Rob Parry puts his Datsun 1600 through its paces in the 2013 Alpine Rally. (Pic: Peter Whitten)

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