Terry Grant is hoping NOT to turn over a new Leaf... a Nissan Leaf, that is. The professional stunt driver will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the “fastest time over a distance of one mile in reverse” this weekend at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
At first glance, Nissan's electrically powered, zero-emission Leaf is the last thing budding world speed record breakers would choose as their ride. Look again and it's the obvious choice: the Leaf's unusual direct drive power distribution system sends the juice directly to the wheels.
According to Nissan, putting the pedal to the medal will propel the innovative electric car to its 140 km/h (87 mph) top speed whether the gear selector's in Drive or Reverse. Keep that in mind next time you're backing a Leaf into a coveted downtown parking spot.
If speeding in reverse seems an accident waiting to happen, consider that Terry Grant earns his living avoiding accidents while tempting fate in the process. He's no stranger to Goodwood either, having driven a Nissan Juke (left) up the 1.16-mile long West Sussex, UK hill climb course on two wheels at last year's event.
“The Leaf reverse record … will be very challenging,” explained Grant. “The hill not only climbs, but is also full of twists, turns and obstacles.” Not exactly the same as backing out of one's driveway now, is it?
“It's a hugely technical test of speed and concentration,” adds Grant, “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!” Here's to hoping Grant gets off that easy, whether or not he breaks the record.
As for Nissan, the world record attempt is merely the next stop on the company's “The Big Turn On” social media campaign, by which Nissan “aims to prove that the Leaf is safe, practical, and fun to drive, as well as environmentally friendly.”
Present and future Leaf owners had best leave any reverse driving to Terry Grant, however, since walking a white line with a cricked neck during a DUI test is a stunt best left to professionals. (via Autonet, Motorward, and GoAuto)