Video: Watch The Nissan Leaf Set A Backwards Driving Record

The annual Goodwood Festival of Speed is a celebration of all things automotive. Put on by the awesome Lord March since 1993, Goodwood attracts gearheads from across the globe who want a chance to race up the famous hill climb. This year featured a record number of alt-fuel vehicles, among them a Nissan Leaf, which set a new record for reverse driving up the hill.

Unlike traditional cars, which use multi-gear transmissions to put power to the road, the Nissan Leaf has a single-speed reduction gear. There is therefore no “shifting” in the Leaf, nor is there a reverse gear; the electric motor merely reverses directions. This means that the Leaf can go as fast in reverse as it can in drive, up to a top speed of about 90 mph. By removing the rev limiter and placing Terry Grant behind the wheel, the Leaf was able to shoot up the Goodwood hill climb in a time of 2:03 minutes. That is the fastest any car has ever gone up Goodwood in reverse.

The stock Leaf is proving an incredibly effect car for motorsports despite (or because of?) its electric powertrain. From Pikes Peak to the race track or autocross course, a few modifications go a long way with the Leaf. Now if only Nissan would make it rear-wheel drive…



Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.