Nissan Leaf to attempt speed record


OK, Nissan isn't going for the 1000 mph barrier in some far-flung desert, but it is going to try and break the record for one mile driving backwards.

The attempt will take place at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (as if anything in the world of motoring is happening anywhere else). The key to the attempt is that the electrically-powered Leaf can go as fast in reverse as it does going forwards - you just have to run the electric motor in the opposite direction.

The Goodwood course is certainly not the easiest place to make the attempt. There are plenty of drivers who have slid off the narrow course going forwards, so it will take a lot of skill and concentration to do it in reverse. The pilot will be professional stunt driver Terry Grant who entertained 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 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."

Perhaps he should do it in the one car reckoned to have a higher top speed when going backwards. The aerodynamics of the Austin Allegro were so strange that it actually had lower drag in reverse than going forwards. Of course, that would mean the Allegro would have to keep going for a mile without breaking down, which might prove problematical...