A Nissan Leaf is set to run the 1.87km hill-climb course at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the United Kingdom this weekend. Unlike the other cars that will be tackling the course, however, the Leaf will be doing it in reverse to set "a new Guinness world record for the fastest time over a distance of one mile in reverse."
Nissan believes that with the Leaf using the direct drive from the electric motor to power its wheels, the all-electric car should be able to hit the same top speed it achieves when going forward. In addition, with its batteries located under the floor, it gives the car a low center of gravity, making it very stable at speed and producing very little body roll while cornering. With fewer moving parts than a conventional car, the chances of mechanical issues to thwart the Leaf's attempt are also less.
Driving the Leaf will be professional stunt driver Terry Grant, who thrilled the crowds at the 2011 staging of the event by driving a Nissan Juke up the hill-climb course on two wheels.
"The Leaf Reverse Record isn't going to be easy and will be very challenging," said Grant. "I'd prefer to do it on a nice straight and level strip of tarmac. 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 the Leaf's design give me confidence. Whatever happens, I know I'm going to finish the weekend with a serious crick in my neck!"