Nissan Leaf is fastest car to cover a mile — in reverse

(July 3, 2012) ROLLE, Switzerland — The multiple award-winning Nissan Leaf rewrote the record books this weekend as the fastest car over a measured mile in reverse.

Driven by professional stunt driver Terry Grant, the Nissan Leaf raced backwards up the famous Goodwood hill climb course at the weekend's Festival of Speed, covering the distance in 1 minute, 37.2 seconds at an average speed of 55 mph.

Having set the record on Friday, the opening day of the Festival, Terry went on to smash his time on Saturday and Sunday, shaving an amazing 26 seconds off Friday's time.

Terry, who set a world record at last year's festival by driving a Nissan Juke up the hill on two wheels, says: "I had a great car at my disposal — with direct drive from the electric motor to its wheels, the Nissan Leaf can, in theory, go as fast backwards as it can forwards. There were times I wasn't sure I was coming or going. However, thanks to the Leaf's low center of gravity — the batteries are an integral part of the car's floor — the car is extremely stable, no matter which direction it's traveling. The only complaint I have is slight neck ache from constantly looking over my shoulder!"

The Leaf Reverse Record is 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 and aimed to get one million consumers switched onto electric driving in just 100 days. The one million "turn ons" target was achieved on the June 21, 15 days ahead of the original target.

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 540-horsepower 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 go-ers 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.