Driven by professional stunt driver Terry Grant, the LEAF raced backwards up the famous Goodwood hillclimb course at the Festival of Speed, covering the distance in 1 minute 37.02 seconds at an average speed of 88.5km/h (55 mph).
Having set the record on Friday, the opening day of the festival in West Sussex, Terry went on to smash his time on Saturday and Sunday, shaving an amazing 26 seconds off Friday’s time.
Terry, who set a new world record at last year’s festival by driving a Nissan Juke up the hill on two wheels, says: ‘There were times I wasn’t sure whether I was coming or going.
‘However, thanks to the LEAF’s low centre of gravity – the batteries are an integral part of the car’s floor – the car is extremely stable, no matter which direction it’s travelling.
‘With direct drive from the electric motor to its wheels, the Nissan LEAF can, in theory, go as fast backwards as it can forwards.
‘The car was really planted on the road throughout, and with so few moving parts, there were no mechanical dramas. The only complaint I have is slight neck-ache from constantly looking over my shoulder!’
The LEAF Reverse Record was part of Nissan’s ambitious social media-driven campaign, ‘The Big Turn On’, which is spreading the EV message across Europe using social media channels. The one million ‘turn-ons’ target was achieved 15 days ahead of target.
Other Nissan highlights
The Nissan LEAF Reverse Record was just one of a number of Nissan highlights at the festival.
The dramatic race-prepared Nissan LEAF NISMO RC raced against the clock (and in the correct direction) to set a hill record for electric vehicles.
It was driven by current FIA GT1 world champion Michael Krumm, who also drove his 540hp GT-R GT1 racer up the hill. The newest production GT-R Track Pack took part in the Supercar Run, while the stunning Juke-R – a GT-R in Juke’s clothes – also wowed the crowds.
And sticking with the Juke theme, festival-goers were treated to a sneak preview of the Juke Nismo, a hot crossover created by Nissan’s performance arm, which reaches the showrooms in early 2013.