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by Adam Lynton
Nissan aim to prove the LEAF is just as fast going backwards as it is going forward.
Professional stunt driver Terry Grant thrilled the Goodwood faithful last year when he drove a Nissan Juke up the 1.16-mile hill-climb course on two wheels. This year he has been employed by Nissan to tackle the same course, but this time he'll be piloting a LEAF and doing it in reverse. The aim is to set a "new Guinness World Record for the fastest time over a distance of one mile in reverse."
Nissan believe that, by simply disabling the electronic speed limiter, a LEAF going backwards should be able to reach the same top speed it manages when going forwards as direct drive from the electric motor powers the wheels. Further, as the batteries are stored under the car's floor, the LEAF has a low center of gravity that makes it very stable at speed and produces minimal body roll while cornering. It also has fewer moving parts than a conventional car so it's unlikely mechanical issues will hinder its chances of creating history. "The LEAF Reverse Record isn't going to be easy and will be very challenging.
"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," said Grant. "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!" The Festival of Speed will also welcome the race-ready Nissan LEAF NISMO RC that will attempt a new hill record for EVs. 2011 FIA GT1 Champion Michael Krumm, who drove the DeltaWing at Le Mans 24 Hours, will be piloting the LEAF racer.