When Nissan wants to set a speed record, you'd expect it to use the GT-R to get there. Or maybe one of its myriad racing cars – it does, after all, power the bulk of the LMP2 racers on the grid at Le Mans, not to mention the experimental DeltaWing. But the Leaf? Sure, maybe for emissions-free motoring, but not for speed.

Yet it's the Leaf in which Nissan will attempt to set a new Guinness World Record at the upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed. And not the Nismo RC version, either, though that will be on hand for the festival as well. No, Nissan will attempt a world record in a bone-stock electric Leaf... in reverse.

Because EVs like the Leaf power their wheels directly from their electric motors, they should – in theory at least – be able to drive just as fast in reverse as they do moving forward. To test that theory, Nissan is bringing the Leaf to Goodwood where its stunt driver Terry Grant (the same guy who drove a Juke on two wheels up the hill at the event last year) will attempt to drive the entire course backwards.

In the process, Nissan hopes that Grant and the Leaf will set a new record for the fastest time over a distance of one mile in reverse. And considering the twist, turns, peaks and dips of the Goodwood circuit, that likely won't prove too easy. But we sure look forward to seeing how it turns out – if it works this time. Nissan tried to do the backwards stunt last year, but was denied for being too risky. Read more in the press release below.
Show full PR text
World record attempt planned for Goodwood Festival of Speed

- Nissan LEAF to set Guinness World Speed Record in reverse
- Record underlines car's simple yet robust technology
- Part of huge Nissan presence at the Festival
- Nissan LEAF NISMO RC to set FoS hill record for EVs

Rolle, Switzerland (25 June 2012) - In theory, it goes just as fast backwards as it does forwards. And now comes the proof.

At the Goodwood Festival of Speed (29 June - 1 July), the 100% electric Nissan LEAF will attempt to complete the famous 1.16-mile Goodwood hillclimb course as fast as possible... but in reverse, setting a new Guinness World Record for the fastest time over a distance of one mile in reverse.

With direct drive from the electric motor to its wheels, the Nissan LEAF going backwards should be able to hit the same top speed it manages going forwards. With its batteries located under the floor of the car, it has a low centre of gravity making the car very stable at speed with little body roll under cornering. And with fewer moving parts than a conventional car, there's less likelihood of mechanical issues thwarting the attempt.

The attempt is part of Nissan's ambitious social media-driven campaign, The Big Turn On, which is spreading the EV message across Europe. The campaign aims to prove that as well as being environmentally friendly, the Nissan LEAF is safe, economical to run, practical, and fun to drive.

Professional stunt driver Terry Grant will attempt the LEAF Reverse Record. Terry thrilled the crowds at the 2011 Festival of Speed by driving a Nissan JUKE up the hillclimb course on two wheels.

"The LEAF Reverse Record isn't going to be easy and will be very challenging," admitted Terry. "I'd prefer to do it on a nice straight and level strip of tarmac rather than on Lord March's drive. The hill not only climbs, but is also full of twists, turns and obstacles.

"It's a hugely technical test of speed and concentration. But despite the risks, the strength and integrity of Nissan LEAF's design gives me confidence. Whatever happens, I know I'm going to finish the weekend with a serious crick in my neck!"

One of the other Nissan stars of the FoS weekend will be the dramatic race-prepared Nissan LEAF NISMO RC. It will be racing against the clock, to set a hill record for electric vehicles. It will be driven by 2011 FIA GT1 Championship winning driver, Michael Krumm, who wowed the huge crowd at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours from behind the wheel of the startling Nissan DeltaWing endurance racing car.


Nissan LEAF Information

Nissan LEAF

Share This Photo X