Back to the Future: Nissan LEAF Sets Reverse Speed Record

07/11/2012 (press release: CambridgePRGroup) // Hyannis, Mass. // Balise Nissan of Cape Cod

It probably isn’t the first selling point that buyers come across for the Nissan LEAF, but with a direct drive from its electric motor to its wheels, the car can technically travel just as fast backward as it does forward. Nissan and professional stunt driver Terry Grant recently used that fact to their advantage at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K., setting a new reverse speed record on the event’s famous hillclimb course.

Driven by Grant, a Nissan LEAF with its reverse speed limiter disabled cleared the mile-long Goodwood course in a record-setting 1 minute 37.02 seconds, averaging 55 mph along the way. The LEAF first broke the old record on the opening day of the festival, but Grant shaved another 26 seconds off the new mark over the next two days of competition. In addition to the car’s unique drivetrain, the successful driver also cited the LEAF’s low center of gravity as a reason for its record performance, with the batteries strategically integrated into the vehicle’s floor.

“We wouldn’t encourage our customers to race their LEAF in reverse, but the results at Goodwood highlight just how well-engineered the car is,” said Michael Ferraro, general manager of Balise Nissan of Cape Cod, a Hyannis, MA Nissan dealership. “The LEAF can be a lot of fun to drive due to the instant power delivery of its electric motor, so you don’t have to miss out on performance while zipping past the gas station.”

Terry Grant’s backward-racing electric vehicle wasn’t the only LEAF to emerge victorious at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Facing forward, a race-ready Nissan LEAF NISMO RC driven by FIA GT1 world champion Michael Krumm set a new hill record for electric vehicles. Nissan also treated Goodwood attendees to a sneak peak of the Juke Nismo, a sportier trim of the automaker’s Juke compact crossover set to go on sale in early 2013.

Even with its existing trims, the Nissan Juke had its best June ever at dealerships last month, selling 3,101 units, a 52.7-percent increase compared to the same month last year. Those numbers helped the Nissan brand post a June record for overall sales, with 81,801 vehicles sold for a 24.6-percent year-over-year increase.

June also marked the debut of the next generation of Nissan’s best-selling vehicle, the 2013 Altima. Despite being on sale for less than a week last month, the redesigned midsize sedan still helped overall Altima sales rise by 11.7 percent compared to June 2011, totaling 21,812 units. Nissan expects sales of the 2013 Altima to continue to boost the brand’s momentum in July.

“Nissan is pushing to revamp its entire lineup with stylish, innovative products, and the all-new Altima is a leading example of those efforts,” added Ferraro. “We’ll see five redesigned Nissan models reach our dealership in a little over a year’s time, so we’re expecting sales to be on the rise for a while.”

About Balise Nissan of Cape Cod:

The youngest member of the Balise Auto Group, Balise Nissan of Cape Cod is dedicated to providing Nissan customers on the Cape and South Shore with the most satisfying automotive experience possible at their brand-new, state-of-the-art Hyannis dealership. From the popular Altima sedan to the versatile Rogue crossover, Balise Nissan maintains an extensive inventory of vehicles so that buyers can find a trim and price that meets their needs. Their expert team of technicians also performs a broad range of detailed Nissan service. Visit their dealership at 322 Falmouth Rd. in Hyannis, Mass., call their team at 508-815-4010 or browse their inventory at They can also be found on Facebook.

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