Nissan attempts world ‘speed’ record at Goodwood Festival of Speed with.. the all-electric Leaf


Bet you never thought Nissan’s all-electric Leaf could set a speed record? So when Nissan contacted Guinness World Records, it probably took a few conversations before the arbiters of the extraordinary were sure Nissan hadn’t made a mistake.

Hearing that stunt driver Terry Grant was involved, should have put their minds at rest – after all, who better than Grant to make the impossible possible?

..the Leaf should in theory go just as fast backwards as it does forwards.

But according to Nissan, the Leaf should in theory go just as fast backwards as it does forwards.

Well they’ve tested the theory out at the long (and straight) Santa Pod drag strip, so to keep the challenge difficult Terry will attempt to complete the stunt at the famous 1.16-mile Goodwood hillclimb course. His goal to set 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 centre of gravity making the car very stable at speed with little body roll under cornering. And with fewer moving parts than a conventional car, there’s less likelihood of mechanical issues thwarting the attempt.

The attempt is part of Nissan’s ambitious social media-driven campaign, The Big Turn On, which you may already have read about on SkiddMark. Nissan reached the campaign’s target last week, of one million people across Europe who’ve ‘switched on’ to electric vehicles, during which they used a Nissan Leaf to light up Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower, run free ‘taxi’ rides to destinations across London and now this.

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 hillclimb course on two wheels.

“The LEAF Reverse Record isn’t going to be easy and will be very challenging,” admitted Terry. “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!”

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Joining the standard Leaf at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed will be the race-prepared Nissan LEAF NISMO RC, which will race against the clock to set a hill record for electric vehicles. 2011 FIA GT1 Championship winning driver, Michael Krumm, will be behind the wheel, who recently drove the Nissan DeltaWing racing car at the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours.