World’s fastest reversing car: Rimac tops 170 mph going backwards
Ever wondered how fast your car can go in reverse? Well, as it happens, Rimac has been putting that very idea to the test with their 1914 hp EV hypercar. The results might shock you…
As Guiness World Records go, this is about the automotive equivalent of world’s largest toothpick sculpture. Both, incredibly strange and arguably quite pointless, but undeniably impressive all the same.
Discontent with breaking over 20 acceleration and deceleration records earlier in the year, Rimac recently returned to the Papenburg facility in Germany to bag the last remaining title in the book: reversing top speed.
The obvious question is why? And to that end, Matija Renic, Nevera Chief Program Engineer explains, “It occurred to us during development that Nevera would probably be the world’s fastest car in reverse, but we kind of laughed it off. The aerodynamics, cooling and stability hadn’t been engineered for travelling backwards at speed, after all. But then, we started to talk about how fun it would be to give it a shot. Our simulations showed that we could achieve well over 150 mph but we didn’t have much of an idea how stable it would be – we were entering unchartered territory.”
After presumably taking a big gulp and saying a few prayers, Rimac’s test driver, Goran Drndak, managed to hit an astonishing 171.34 mph with the Nevera in reverse. In other words, the Rimac managed to crack a higher reversing velocity than a Jaguar F-Type can muster going forwards and using all 8 gears at its disposal.
Need new electric vehicle tyres?
Enter your registration and postcode and we’ll show you the best tyres for your EV
Rimac was able to achieve this feat for two key reasons. Firstly, rather than using a conventional gearbox which limits most cars to around 50 mph when going backwards, the Nevera foregoes a transmission entirely. This means that the full thrust of all four motors can simply be switched to provide over 1900 hp in the opposite direction. And secondly, the driver had the confidence to keep his foot down thanks to the reassuring grip provided by ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 2 R tyres on all four corners.
Driving at 170 mph in reverse is treacherous to say the least, as even the slightest twitch of the wheel could upset the balance of the car. Therefore, it’s testament to the Michelin’s stability and consistency that Drndak was able to reach such speeds safely. It goes without saying, though, best not to try this one at home.
Rimac’s new record will certainly earn it some bragging rights in the EV hypercar community, although we can’t see many manufacturers scrabbling to beat it anytime soon. Can you think of a car which might be able to knock the Nevera off the top spot?
Hero image credit: Rimac