Nissan’s electric vehicle, Nissan Leaf, set the record as the fastest car over a measured mile (1.6km) in reverse at the Goodwood Festival of Speed during the weekend. Piloted by professional stunt driver Terry Grant, the Nissan Leaf cruised backwards up the famous Goodwood hillclimb course and covered the distance in just 1 minute 37.02 seconds at an average speed of 55 mph.
The Leaf and Grant made the record books by first setting a record on Friday, June 29, 2012, and then subsequently smashing it on Saturday, June 30, 2012, and Sunday, July 1, 2012. Grant, likewise, set a world record at last year’s Festival of Speed by piloting a Nissan Juke up the hill on two wheels.
With regards to his recent feat, Grant said that he was able to set the record as he had a “great car” at his disposal. He said that in theory, the Nissan Leaf could go as fast backwards as it can forwards, thanks to the direct drive from the electric motor to its wheels.
He also attributed the record to Nissan Leaf’s low centre of gravity, as its batteries are an integral part of the car's floor, making the car extremely stable in any direction.
The Leaf Reverse Record was part of Nissan's social media-driven campaign, “The Big Turn On,” which aimed to convince one million consumers to switch onto electric driving in just 100 days, using social media channels to spread the message. The campaign was a big success, as Nissan was able to achieve one million ‘turn ons' on June 21, 2012, which is 15 days ahead of the original target.
The Nissan Leaf Reverse Record was not the only Nissan events at latest edition the annual Festival of Speed. Also featured was an uphill climb by a Nissan Leaf Nismo RC to hit a record for electric vehicles.
This vehicle was driven by current FIA GT1 world champion Michael Krumm, who also piloted his 540hp GT-R GT1 racer up the hill. Other highlights were the GT-R Track Pack participating in the Supercar Run and a Juke-R -- a GT-R in Juke's clothes -- also gaining the attention of the crowds.