The Nissan Leaf is out to set a speed record. Its 0-60 time of around 10 seconds hardly makes it a contender, but that is only going forwards. The little electric car is theoretically just a quick going in reverse, and Nissan intends to prove it this weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Although this is purely a publicity stunt, the Leaf is the right car for this kind of work. Unlike a conventional vehicle with a gear transmission, the Leaf has a direct drive system. This means the vehicle will be under as much strain going backwards as it does forwards, and aside from aerodynamics, it has the same potential top speed as when the driver is facing front.
Nissan will be using stunt driver Terry Grant, who is quite confident this will be more challenging than backing out of the driveway. “I’d prefer to do it on a nice straight and level strip of tarmac rather than on Lord March’s drive,” said Grant. “The hill not only climbs, but is also full of twists, turns and obstacles.”
Still, Grant is no stranger to this type of publicity-grabbing stunt at Goodwood. He drove a Juke on two wheels up the hillclimb course for Nissan during the FoS last year.