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Nissan LEAF aiming for reversing speed record at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Mon, 25 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Nissan are going to take the LEAF EV backwards up the Goodwood hillclimb this weekend, aiming for a new Guinness World Record.

We’ve had a real spate of car ‘World Record’ stuff lately, with Mercedes catching a golf ball in an SLS driven by David Coulthard and MINI breaking a parking record. And now it’s Nissan’s turn.

In theory, the Nissan LEAF should be able to go backwards as quickly as it goes forward thanks to its torquey electric motor and single speed gearing that basically has a stop, back and forward setup.

So as part of Nissan’s effort to evangelise the electric car – Nissan call it ‘The Big Turn On’ – they’re planning on taking the LEAF up the Goodwood hillclimb in reverse.

Nissan has roped in professional stunt driver Terry Grant to pilot the LEAF up the hillcimb. He’s not exactly daunted, but seems a bit wary of the bends and the climb. Terry said:

The LEAF Reverse Record isn’t going to be easy and will be very challenging.

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!

A neat trick by Nissan to get real petrolheads interested in the LEAF EV. But taking that interest in seeing Terry go backwards up the hillcimb in a Nissan LEAF and translating it in to a new perspective on electric cars is not something we’d bet the farm on.

Still, we’ll be making sure we catch a Nissan LEAF actually doing something interesting this weekend, always assuming Nissan are allowed to try this reversing stunt this year.


By Cars UK