Best Motoring & Hot Version Era Comes to a Close

The renowned Japanese automotive video series Best Motoring and its spinoff publication Hot Version have been canceled. According to its publisher 2&4 Motoring, the parent company Kodansha could not justify its continued existence citing declining sales figures for the past three years. 

Besumo, as it was called by fans, was launched in December 1987 on VHS and hosted by Japan’s top drivers. Some of the regulars included Keiichi “Drift King” Tsuchiya, D1 driver Manabu Orido, and Juichi Wakisaka. They became famous as much for their jovial camaraderie and banter, as daring comparos that took test vehicles on all-out runs on Japanese circuits or touge battles. For those unfamiliar with the video, think of them as a more technical, Asian version of Top Gear. It was Japanese automotive culture at its finest, and it will be missed.

[7tune via Autoblog]

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14 Responses to Best Motoring & Hot Version Era Comes to a Close

  1. j_c says:

    I always liked how they tested everything from super cars to minivans in a 5 lap race at Tsukuba. And where else will we see an RX-7 take down a GT-R on a windy road?

    They will be missed.

  2. Kevin Lee says:

    i guess we only have top gear to depend on, someone recommend them JDM battles in top gear test track please?

  3. Nigel says:

    BMI will be missed…pretty much any episode (volume) was great.
    (Got a few show on VHS and VCD.)
    A Top Gear vs. BMI battle would awesome. Like Kevin said.

  4. Jonathan says:

    I’m very sad… What automotive series i watch now? Top gear and fifth gear are just crap compared to BMI. Maybe i should try video option either i dont like drifting…

  5. JT191 says:

    This wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that there are fewer new interesting cars to test and that the golden age of potent and exciting motor vehicle manufacturing ended 15 years ago?

    • shaun says:

      I’m with jt191 on this. I think the serious decline of interesting sporty cars coming out has a lot to do with the falling sales. the auto makers have mostly focused on gadgets and crappy tiptronic autos these days and unforunately I dont see how we will ever get much in the way of fun cars again.

    • Tyler says:

      Seeing as we’re in a sort of horsepower war over here, it’s hard to imagine there not being anything going on in Japan. But I suppose it’s probable given the “e word” and state of the world’s automakers.

    • Kev says:

      JT is right…there are so many times that they can do Lancer vs Sti and M3 vs 370Z. Apart from that, the cupboard is a little bare when it comes to trackable new JDM cars.

      15yrs ago, you’d have Turbo MR2s and Chasers, various Nissan turbo sedans, Silvia, Mitsubishi had the FTO and 3000GT as well as the Evo, Mazda had the RX7, Isuzu had Irmscher Geminis and Pa-Nero, Honda had the Prelude, Integra, NSX and performance Civics…they don’t even sell Civic in Japan anymore.

      The subject matter has just dried up,…and you have to ask if a DVD format can survive in this day and age of Youtube and torrents.

  6. jim says:


  7. Ben says:

    I will mis Gun-san’s collection of Cosby sweaters

  8. RB says:

    This means no more Racing History dvds? Damn man

  9. Drew84 says:

    I think a lot of it was piracy. The videos where stolen and put on the internet so often, they lost a lot of money from sales.

  10. Dylan says:

    I’m really going to miss this along with so many other car related things I loved over the years.. it makes me really sad, and every other week it seems as if something else is being cancelled or shut down.

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