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Peter Anderson | Jul 4, 2012

The Goodwood Festival of Speed might is mostly about fast and loud cars. Nissan's Leaf is neither of those things, so the Japanese carmaker tried something else this year: it tackled the course in reverse.

Stunt driver Terry Grant came back to Lord March's home to set his second record in a Nissan. Last year, Grant set the mark for driving a four-wheeled vehicle on two wheels up the hillclimb in a Nissan Juke.

This year's challenge was novel, but certainly got our attention. The first effort was a comparatively lacklustre one, taking over two minutes to reach the top. (But we'll allow it.)

Grant's second attempt on Sunday afternoon saw the Leaf's time on the 1.6km track cut to 1m37.02s at an average speed of 88.5km/h, a staggering twenty-six second improvement.

Watch the video and you'll forgive the sluggish Friday performance - it was raining, and the driver didn't get a chance to hit the rear wiper switch.

The old joke about Goodwood is that the track is essentially Lord March's front driveway, so the idea isn't as silly as it sounds. Who of us hasn't had to reverse up a driveway?

"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," Grant said.

"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 travelling."

"The only complaint I have is slight neck ache from constantly looking over my shoulder!"

We can now sleep easy knowing the Leaf's reversing performance is as good as its forward performance and this one can certainly be filed under, "Questions nobody asked but we're glad to have had answered".

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