June 27, 2012
Nissan LEAF Backwards to the Future at Goodwood
In theory, it goes just as fast backwards as it does forwards. And now comes the proof.
At the Goodwood Festival of Speed (29 June – 1 July), the 100% electric Nissan LEAF will attempt to complete the famous 1.16-mile Goodwood hill-climb course as fast as possible… but in reverse, setting a new Guinness World Record for the fastest time over a distance of one mile in reverse.
With direct drive from the electric motor to its wheels, the Nissan LEAF going backwards should be able to hit the same top speed it manages going forwards. With its batteries located under the floor of the car, it has a low center of gravity making the car very stable at speed with little body roll in cornering. With fewer moving parts than a conventional car, there’s less likelihood of mechanical issues thwarting the attempt.
The reverse course is part of Nissan’s ambitious social media-driven campaign, The Big Turn On, to spread the EV message across Europe.
Professional stunt driver Terry Grant will attempt the LEAF Reverse Record. Terry thrilled the crowds at the 2011 Festival of Speed 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, rather than on Lord March’s drive. 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 Nissan LEAF’s design gives me confidence. Whatever happens, I know I’m going to finish the weekend with a serious crick in my neck!”
One of the other Nissan stars of the weekend will be driver Michael Krumm in the race-prepared LEAF
NISMO RC. It will be racing against the clock, to set a hill record for EVs. Krumm, the 2011 FIA GT1 Championship winning driver, wowed the crowd at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours at the wheel of the startling Nissan DeltaWing endurance racing car.
The LEAF isn’t the only Nissan Motor Co. brand at Goodwood. The first running prototype of Infiniti’s UK-built EMERG-E sports car concept, which combines electric power and a range-extending engine, will debut on the hill-climb. Red Bull Racing Formula 1 driver Mark Webber will drive the EMERG-E, and reigning F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel will take the wheel of his FX edition.