Because electric cars are generally powered by an electric motor via a single gear reduction gearbox, they can theoretically move as quickly backwards as they can forwards.

It’s no surprise then that as part of the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed due to take place this week, Nissan says its Leaf electric car will set a new world record for traveling one mile in reverse. 

Enter British stunt driver Terry Grant, better known for his parking-brake parallel parks, and a specially-prepared stunt Leaf. 

On road-legal Leafs, Nissan software prevents the driver from going too quickly in reverse. Nissan has prepared Grant’s Leaf without the software restriction, enabling him to theoretically hit the Leaf’s top speed of 93 mph while driving backwards. 

2011 Nissan Leaf at 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed

2011 Nissan Leaf at 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed

If the story sounds familiar, you’re right: it is. 

At last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, Nissan promised that Grant would set the record for the fastest ever reverse mile. But at the last minute, safety officials at the twisty 1.16 mile track cancelled the attempt after claiming a lack of adequate testing made the attempt too risky.

With nine turns along its length, not to mention an expected crowd of several hundred thousand, Grant’s reverse attempt will certainly gain Nissan some significant publicity. 

But with uncertainty about battery life fresh in some Leaf owners’ minds, not everyone will be able to enjoy Nissan’s latest Leaf-themed publicity stunt. 


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